Donors needed after norovirus outbreak

Blood donors are being asked to give blood after the Christmas holiday and the norovirus outbreak caused a dip in donations.

Blood stock levels are lower than usual after the busy festive season stopped people from getting to their donor sessions and the outbreak of norovirus led to an increase in the number of people cancelling their appointments.

Donors who are O Rh negative (O-) are needed more than anyone else after non-attendance by these donors increased by 50 per cent just before new year.

Jon Latham, assistant director of marketing for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are always grateful to donors who respond to calls such as this and appreciate that in doing so they do give up some of their precious time.“

Donors with blood group O- negative are commonly known as the ‘universal donor’ as their blood can be given to patients with a different blood group.

Unfortunately, only about seven per cent of the population have this useful blood group.

Anyone aged between 17-65, weighing more than 50 kg (7 stone 12lbs) and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor.

There is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

The following blood donor sessions are available in Crawley in January:

Crawley Baptist Church, in West Green, on January 28.

St John Ambulance Hall, in Massetts Road, Horley, on January 30.

Both from 1.45pm to 4.30pm then from 5.30pm to 8pm.

Crawley Leisure Park, on January 18.

Crawley Sea Cadets, in Longmere Road, on January 30.

Both from 9.30am to 12.30pm then from 2pm to 4.30pm .

For more information call 0300 123 23 23 or visit