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Donors can follow the journey their blood takes on Google Maps in an effort to encourage more people to donate (an example shown)

Donors can follow the journey their blood goes through Google Maps in an effort to encourage more people to donate.

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Route maps are sent by e-mail to all donors showing which NHS hospital gets their blood and where it is processed.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) hopes to attract more donors and retain those with much needed blood groups, such as O negative and Ro.

The initiative is being rolled out this week for donors in England and Wales.

Jon Latham, assistant director for blood donation, said: “People are fascinated by what happens to their blood and where it can end up.

Donors can follow the journey their blood takes on Google Maps in an effort to encourage more people to donate (an example shown)

Donors can follow the journey their blood takes on Google Maps in an effort to encourage more people to donate (an example shown)

Route maps (such as these) are sent by e-mail to donors, showing which hospital receives their donation and where it is processed
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Route maps (such as these) are sent by e-mail to donors, showing which hospital receives their donation and where it is processed

Route maps (such as these) are sent by e-mail to donors, showing which hospital receives their donation and where it is processed

Donors give blood in one of the 23 permanent donor centers or at mobile banks that are held for the day in community locations such as church halls

Donors give blood in one of the 23 permanent donor centers or at mobile banks that are held for the day in community locations such as church halls

Donors give blood in one of the 23 permanent donor centers or at mobile banks that are held for the day in community locations such as church halls

& # 39; Donors now receive emails with a map of the journey each donation made, including the hospital to which it is sent, where it can save lives.

& # 39; Blood donation continues to evolve, but some things remain the same – you still get tea and cookies and you still get a great feeling that you've done something that changes your life. & # 39;

NHSBT has approximately 820,000 donors and about 5,000 units of blood are issued to hospitals every day. About 4,000 e-mails are sent every day.

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The cards are used in addition to popular SMS messages that NHSBT has been sending to donors since 2017, telling them which hospital receives their blood.

Donors give blood in one of the 23 permanent donor centers or at mobile banks that are held for the day in community buildings such as church halls.

The blood is processed in one of the NHSBT production centers in Bristol, Manchester and Colindale in North London.

It is later delivered to a hospital, ready for transfusion into a seriously ill patient.

NHSBT drivers transport most of the blood through regular deliveries and deliver a portion via & # 39; blue light & # 39; emergency deliveries.

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There is a huge demand for O negative blood because it is universal and can be given to anyone in need, regardless of their own type.

But it is also the rarest, which means that demand far exceeds supply. NHSBT said that hospitals need more and more O-negative blood that can be used for victims of car accidents and newborn or premature babies.

The quirky initiative is being rolled out this week for donors in England and Wales and is designed to retain people with much sought-after blood groups, such as O negative (shown)

The quirky initiative is being rolled out this week for donors in England and Wales and is designed to retain people with much sought-after blood groups, such as O negative (shown)

The quirky initiative is being rolled out this week for donors in England and Wales and is designed to retain people with much sought-after blood groups, such as O negative (shown)

O negative now accounts for 14 percent of all blood delivered to hospitals, the highest level ever, even though only eight percent of the population naturally has it.

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NHSBT said that the long-term demand for O-negative is mainly driven by the need to replace O-negative with a rare blood type called Ro.

Ro, a subtype blood type, is more common in people of black descent, and only two percent of regular blood donors have Ro.

There is an increase in the number of people with sickle cell disease with Ro blood who regularly need transfusions.

NHSBT is also attractive to male donors after it has been revealed that the number of men giving their blood in England has fallen by about a quarter in the last five years.

It said that male blood, which is higher in iron than women, is able to help more patients with each donation.

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Sebastian Cockerill, now six years old, was born 15 weeks early after 25 weeks in pregnancy by a caesarean section.

Sebastian Cockerill, six, met 43-year-old Andrew Spence, from Corby in Northamptonshire, whose blood saved Seb & # 39; s life when he was born prematurely. The two hugged each other when they met

Sebastian Cockerill, six, met 43-year-old Andrew Spence, from Corby in Northamptonshire, whose blood saved Seb & # 39; s life when he was born prematurely. The two hugged each other when they met

Sebastian Cockerill, six, met 43-year-old Andrew Spence, from Corby in Northamptonshire, whose blood saved Seb & # 39; s life when he was born prematurely. The two hugged each other when they met

Seb, from Sudbury in Suffolk, was born 15 weeks early and needed several blood transfusions

Seb, from Sudbury in Suffolk, was born 15 weeks early and needed several blood transfusions

Seb, from Sudbury in Suffolk, was born 15 weeks early and needed several blood transfusions

His bone marrow was not mature enough to produce enough red blood cells to keep him alive.

He received several life-saving blood transfusions at the neonatal intensive care unit at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, including an O-negative blood from 43-year-old Andrew Spence, from Corby in Northamptonshire.

Seb and mother Helen, 41, from Sudbury in Suffolk, have now met Mr. Spence. The youngster gave him a big hug and gave him a card that said: & # 39; Thank you Andrew, for giving me some of your blood. & # 39;

Seb said: & # 39; The blood was in the veins of Andrew and it went into my veins. People have to donate blood and save lives like Andrew did to me. & # 39;

Mr. Spence said: & # 39; The day was fantastic – what a great, emotional experience. Seb and his mother Helen were wonderful. He really is a remarkable young man. & # 39;

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Mrs. Cockerill said: & Seb was very happy to meet Andrew and he has asked a few times when we will see him again. Seb would not have survived without Andrew and the other donors.

& # 39; He has finished year one from school. He loves Lego and spends a lot of time with his friends and cousins. It is so great to see after such a frightening start to his life. & # 39;

She added: & I don't think people understand how important O negative blood is. Relatives of people who are O negative – please go out and get tested. & # 39;

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GIVE BLOOD?

Hospitals in the UK need no less than 6,000 blood donations every day.

To meet this demand, 190,000 new donors are needed every year.

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At this time of the year, hospitals need donors even more because they are faced with a & # 39; Christmas malaise & # 39 ;, because people cancel their appointments.

Figures show that nearly half of blood donors are older than 45 and 81 percent of 18-24 year olds have never given blood.

A regular supply of all blood groups and types is required.

Before you give blood

If you want to donate blood, you can register online or call 0300 123 23 23.

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When you log in to your account, you can find an appointment.

How you donate blood

When you sit comfortably in the chair, a nurse will put a cuff on your arm to maintain a small amount of pressure during the donation (this does not measure blood pressure).

They then examine your arm to find a suitable vein and clean it with an antiseptic sponge.

A needle is inserted into your arm that collects your blood in a blood bag with your unique donor number.

You should not feel any discomfort or pain. If you do this, tell an employee.

A scale weighs the blood and stops when you have donated 470 ml (or just under a pint). This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.

The needle is removed and a sterile dressing is applied to your arm.

Your donation is transported to one of our blood centers where it is tested and processed before it is delivered to hospitals.

Source: NHS Give Blood

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