Home Health Blood donations binned by the NHS despite urgent appeal for more

Blood donations binned by the NHS despite urgent appeal for more

It’s no secret the NHS is appealing for more blood donations. With an urgent need for “more people to start giving blood”, why are 61,000 bags going down the trash?

According to The Daily Star, blunders by the NHS have seen approximately £8million of taxpayers’ money go down the drain.

The newspaper states more than 61,000 blood donations have been wasted in the past five years.

With each unit of blood donated by the public costing the NHS £130.52 to store, why is the National Health Service letting this happen?

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The Daily Star reports bags of blood have been thrown away because they’ve been stored at the wrong temperature.

It also adds that other blood donations were carelessly thrown away as they hadn’t been used within 35 days.

The NHS Blood and Transplant department note that “red blood cells can only be stored for up to 35 days”.

What’s the need for blood donations?

The NHS points out that blood donated is “a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments”.

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“We need new blood donors from all backgrounds to ensure there is the right blood available for patients who need it,” urges the NHS.

Statistics reveal 400 new donors are needed every day to meet demand.

This is why it’s vital NHS staff store blood donations at the right temperature consistently.

Such a minor mistake is having dire consequences on the blood supply hospitals have access to.


Having an array of blood types available in hospitals is vital for the health of others.

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People who require on-going blood transfusions need blood that closely matches their blood type.

This is so that their body accepts the blood being given to them, instead of rejecting it as a foreign invasion.

There are eight main blood types: O positive, O negative, A positive, A negative, B positive, B negative, AB positive, AB negative.

Data from December 2018 on the NHS website reveal the percentage of donors with each blood type. The list goes as follows:

  • O positive: 35 percent
  • O negative: 13 percent
  • A positive: 30 percent
  • A negative: Eight percent
  • B positive: Eight percent
  • B negative: Two percent
  • AB positive: Two percent
  • AB negative: One percent

Blood type is determined by your genes and is inherited by your parents.

O negative donors are called “universal” donors because anyone can receive red blood cells from their donations.

However, those who have an O negative blood type can only receive blood donations from O negative donors.


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