'extreme pressure' | 

Blood donations urgently required as supply runs ‘critically low’ in Irish hospitals

“Hospitals have been experiencing extreme pressures recently and there has been a sustained high demand for blood.”

A blood donor. Photo: Getty Images/Hemera© Getty Images/Hemera

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

An urgent appeal for blood donors has been issued as the national supply in Irish hospitals is “critically low.”

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) aims to have seven days stock at all times.

In recent weeks, the supply for some blood groups has frequently been dropping to just three days.

This level is “critically low,” the service said in an urgent statement today.

"Hospitals have been experiencing extreme pressures recently and there has been a sustained high demand for blood,” said Paul McKinney, the IBTS Director of Donor Services and Logistics.

"The recent high level of respiratory illness in the community has also impacted the collection of blood and as a result we are running critically low across all blood groups.

"In order to avoid putting further pressure on our hospital system, we need as many donors as possible to attend donation clinics over the coming days.

”If you receive a text message from us, please respond to the number provided and make an appointment, RhD negative donors can attend any clinic and they will be accommodated.

“Support from our donors has as usual been superb over the last few challenging months and we are very grateful for that.

"We constantly need new donors and anybody interested in becoming a new donor should register their interest on our website (www.giveblood.ie) where you will also find all clinic locations / opening hours and all frequently asked questions.

"In advance of the new Public Holiday we are also running additional clinics on Sunday, January 29,” he added.

Just three pc of the Irish population are blood donors, with around eight pc of these donors having a blood type of O negative.

O negative blood can be transfused to patients of all blood groups, so is used in hospitals frequently.

The IBTS must collect 3,000 units of blood every week to maintain the national blood supply.

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