Blood donors wanted in Sidmouth and Ottery

PUBLISHED: 16:26 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 18 June 2010

MORE blood donors are needed in East Devon to replace those no longer able to give. Nicki Snell, donor relations co-ordinator for the National Blood Service, said: We are always in constant need for more blood donors.

MORE blood donors are needed in East Devon to replace those no longer able to give.

Nicki Snell, donor relations co-ordinator for the National Blood Service, said: "We are always in constant need for more blood donors.

"Due to the current flu season, we have seen a drop in the number of people donating as they cannot give blood with flu symptoms."

She said sessions at Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary were successful, attracting around 100 donors each time.

However, having to relocate from Feniton to Payhembury had meant the loss of donors.

"The need for blood doesn't stop at Christmas. We need to continue to provide hospitals with enough blood so they can continue to save and improve lives," said Nicki.

"It is so important for us that people donate at this time."

At Sidmouth the next blood donor sessions are from 1.30pm to 3.15pm and 5pm to 7.15pm on Monday November 30 and Tuesday, December 1 at St Francis Hall, Woolbrook.

At Ottery St Mary, The Institute will host sessions on Friday, November 13 during these times.

Payhembury's next session is Tuesday, December 29.

Nicki said: "This time of year is a good time to enrol donors as people are not on holiday.

"A lot of people can now give blood that couldn't before, such as Type Two diabetics and those with high blood pressure."

A finger test is done to check suitability and three samples for Hepatitis B and C and syphilis are taken before people are allowed to donate.

"You can give blood at the first donation if your tests are okay, and give blood three times a year."

Nicki said a pint of blood could help save the lives of three people as it is separated into red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma.

You must be over 17 to donate blood, and first time donors must be under 65. Pregnant women and those with anaemia cannot be donors.

For more information call the National Blood Service helpline: (0300) 123 2323.

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