This National Blood Week (June 10 to 16), NHS Blood and Transplant is calling more for donors at Manchester’s Donor Centres with a rare blood type which is in the fastest growing demand in England.
New figures show that the Manchester blood stock holding unit has had an 60% increase in demand for Ro Kell negative blood over the last four years.
The types can be found in anyone but black people are ten times more likely to have this rare and valuable combination of blood types.
Existing donors with Ro Kell negative blood are being urged to talk to family members about donation, because they may also share this rare combination of types.
Currently, there are only 342 donors with Ro Kell negative blood at the Manchester Norfolk House Donor Centre (just off Market Street) and only 141 donors with Ro Kell negative blood Manchester Plymouth Grove Donor Centre (just by Manchester Royal Infirmary).
NHSBT aims to recruit 420 more black blood donors to Norfolk House and 220 to Plymouth Grove over the next year to help boost this number and ensure seriously ill hospital patients get the blood they need.
NHSBT is also launching a special service for donors with this blood group to help retain and recruit donors because of how critical their types have become to patient care. Donors will have a dedicated phone number to use. Only around 2% of donors have this rare combination of two blood types.
Nationally, there has been a 50% increase in demand for Ro Kell since 2015/16, making it the combination of blood types in the fastest growing demand nationally.
Mike Stredder, Director Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Ro Kell negative blood is used vitally to treat people who need life-long transfusions to live longer, healthy lives. It is lifesaving.
“Blood donation is quick, easy and safe. We urgently need more Ro Kell negative donors at the Manchester donor centres to cope with the growing demand – we urge anyone with these blood types to talk to friends and family about donation.”
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