Sunshine casts shadow on emergency blood supplies
Irish Blood Transfusion Service says good weather has meant a 10 per cent drop in donations from the public
Blood from a stone: donations dry up, as people stay out to enjoy the spell of fine weather
The number of people attending blood donation clinics has dropped by about 10 per cent as a result of the good weather, according to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS).
Its chief executive Andy Kelly said that, while there were currently no shortages, the supply on hand for patients had dropped from one which would tide them over for between five and seven days at the beginning of last week to a four or five day supply last Friday.
“Clearly the fine spell of weather is impacting on our attendance because people are enjoying the sunshine,” he said.
The service needs 3,000 donations every week in order to ensure an adequate supply.
“We are hoping that our donations will improve so that we can maintain supplies to all hospitals,” Mr Kelly said.
He said demand for blood had increased during the first 15 days of this month. Given the recent drop in donations, the service is urging people to donate if a clinic is in their area.
During a sunny spell in May last year, the IBTS issued an appeal via Twitter for more people to donate. Around this time stocks of certain blood types dropped to enough for only three-to-four days’ supply. The blood bank aims for a seven-day supply across all groups.
More than 1,000 Irish people receive transfusions every week: about 70,000 each year. The service supplies to 71 hospitals around the country. Each blood unit can last for 35 days.