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NHS Blood and Transplant call for donors to ‘Save England’ during the World Cup

NHS Blood and Transplant is rallying for a new kind of English hero during the World Cup – as there is a need for blood donors, particularly O negative, B negative, male, or black donors with the rare subtype Ro.

Potential donors are encouraged to register and to book an appointment at a local donor centre and if they cannot get an appointment, look to book it for when the tournament has finished.

Whilst it can be difficult to get an appointment during busy periods, donor centres have the most appointment availability.

England stalwarts Shilton (125 caps), whose wife worked in the NHS for more than 20 years, and Seaman (75 caps), are well known for the saves they’ve made for their country and are now calling upon the nation to ‘Save England’ off the pitch, by donating blood to help save lives.

There is still a need for O negative or B negative blood donors as stocks of these groups tend to fall during certain times of the year such as bank holidays, summer and Christmas. We need to increase the proportion of donors with these groups to meet demand. Anyone who has those blood groups will be able to get a priority appointment.

25,000 male donors are needed now to step forward. Men’s blood is particularly useful to make plasma and platelets used to stop bleeding after injury or surgery. Men are also able to donate more frequently and are more likely to have lots of iron and so can donate more regularly than women. Despite this, 2 in 3 new donors are women.

Black donors with the rare subtype Ro are also in high demand. This blood type is more prevalent in the black community and is used to treat the 15,000 people in the UK who suffer from sickle cell disease. Often people needing Ro are treated with O negative because there is a shortage of Ro blood to treat patients.

The legends can be seen taking on a team of young players, hoping to inspire a generation to save the nation through blood donation, on the video above.

Peter Shilton says: “I wish I could have donated when I could do – but hope this encourages those that still can.

“It doesn’t need the ‘hand of god’ to save lives – everyone can do it. A blood donation can save or improve up to three lives and it shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time.”

David Seaman added: “We want everyone to know that they can save the people around them. It can’t be overemphasised how important each donation is. Therefore, please support your country in a way that can make you the heroes off the pitch.”

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant says: “To meet our patients’ needs at all times, we need 700 new donors every day to follow in the footsteps of these goalkeeping legends and help save their country.

“There is a particular need for O negative and B negative donors as these are vulnerable blood groups that often run low on stocks at various times of the year, so anyone who knows they have one of these blood groups please do come forward to donate.

“If you can’t get an appointment to give blood during the World Cup, don’t worry. The need for blood is constant so we encourage anyone who can’t get one now to book for a future date.

“If you live or work near to one of our fixed site donor centres, please book an appointment to give there.”

Please go to www.blood.co.uk to find out if you can donate, register as a donor and book an appointment at your local donor centre. Giving blood is simple and an hour of your time can help save up to three lives. If you can’t book an appointment straight away, please don’t worry, we need blood donors every day so please book an appointment in the future. Save a life. Give blood #Giveblood.