Harper Macleod is one of 30 companies in Scotland supporting a global awareness campaign today to highlight the importance of giving blood and knowing your blood group. This comes as new research undertaken by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) shows only 38% of people in Scotland claim to know their blood type. This rises to 61% among those who have given blood.
Staff at Harper Macleod gave their support to the Missing Type campaign on Tuesday
Missing Type is a campaign by 23 blood services around the world designed to highlight the importance of the four main blood groups A,B,O and AB.
As part of it, we removed A,B and O from our social media posts and signage to highlight their importance.
Dr Moira Carter, Associate Director of Donor Services, SNBTS says: “Missing Type is designed to highlight the need for new blood donors and promote awareness of your blood group. In total there are eight different blood groups of which SNBTS aims to maintain a 5 to 7 day supply at all times. We are asking the people of Scotland to register as a blood donor, donate and support us by being blood group aware.”
Martin Darroch, Chief Executive of Harper Macleod, said: "We're delighted to support the Missing Type campaign and help raise awareness of an issue which can save lives of people in Scotland and around the world."
The new research surprisingly revealed that many current donors are uncertain on their own blood type. Additionally, both donors and the wider public are unclear about how to find out what type they are. SNBTS believe that it is increasingly important that both existing and new blood donors know their blood group as not every donor can help every patient. We value all of Scotland’s blood donors, but sometimes we may need particular blood types more than others. By knowing your type, you may be able to help at a time when patients in Scotland need you most.
SNBTS has recently updated its website, www.scotblood.co.uk so you can clearly see what blood types we need on any given day. If you look on the website and your blood bag volume is low they need you to act now by answering our invitation to donate.
Further analysis of the research reveals that the number of new blood donors in Scotland has declined by 30% in the last five years. Additionally, the statistics also demonstrate that while 96% of new donors are under the age of 55 years, we increasingly rely on donors over 55 to make sure that there is always enough blood for patients. This tells us that, unfortunately, younger donors are not continuing to donate nor making a life-long commitment to saving lives.
Dr Carter continued, saying: “We are grateful for the support of all blood donors and recognise that life is very busy and it can be challenging to fit in giving blood. However by knowing your blood group, you can make the best use of your valuable time and make an even bigger difference to a patient when they need you most.”
To register as a blood donor call 0345 90 90 999, visit www.scotblood.co.uk.
Follow SNBTS on social media at www.facebook.com/givebloodforscotland and Twitter @givebloodscot, #MissingType.