NHS make urgent call for rare blood types
NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people from people from ethnic minority backgrounds to become donors.
Black African or black Caribbean donors only make up 0.64% the blood register were from black communities, and South Asian donors make up 1.1%.
Last year, 181 black people and 758 south Asian people in West Yorkshire gave blood at least once.
People from black and Asian communities are also more likely to have conditions such as Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassemia, which need regular blood transfusions.
Blood matches are more likely to be successful if they come from someone from a smilar ethnic background.
The NHS’s Missing Type Campaign aims to encourage those who are from rare blood groups to apply.
Blood groups such as B positive, and rarer sub types such as Ro, are more common in black and Asian communities.
In the South Asian community, 32% of South Asian donors are B positive compared to 7% of Caucasian donors.
Their are barriers to people becoming blood donors, which include people not having the time, due to a busy lifestyle, travelling more and fear of needles.
Many people within ethnic minority groups support the idea of donating blood, but due to language barriers, fear of attenidng the appointments alone and lack of awareness, many still do not donate.
Some South Asians feel that donating blood may conflict with their cultural or religious beliefs, despite there being no specific rules that ban blood or organ donation.
The NHS are also looking for younger donors, as half of all donors in England are over 45.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant said:
“Thanks to the generosity of our current donors, hospitals have the blood needed to treat patients and there is not a crisis in blood stocks.”
“It’s vital the blood donor community reflects the diversity of the population because blood types vary across communities and patients need well-matched blood.”
Donating blood should take no more than an hour from appointment time and each donation can save or improve up to three lives.
To sign up as a new donor, visit: www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.