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10th October 2015

Push for new platelet donors in Manchester

With a current shortage of platelet donors in Manchester, the NHS are calling for the community to come forward and get tested for donation eligibility
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NHS Blood and Transplant is urging for new volunteers to come forward to donate platelets. There is currently less than one platelet donor for every 100 blood donors; meaning more than 250 new platelet donors are needed this year in Manchester alone.

Donated platelets are routinely used during major surgery and cancer treatment, and more than half of platelets donated are used to treat leukaemia or blood disorders. With 500 people in the UK being diagnosed with leukaemia every month, the call for platelet donors is more prevalent than ever.

The tiny cells work by forming clots in blood, helping to prevent bleeding. A single donation could help up to three adults, or 12 children, survive cancer and severe injuries. But to be eligible as a donor, you must first meet certain criteria, including having a high enough platelet count.

Manchester has two of just 23 donation centres in England (Norfolk House Donor Centre, on Brown Street, and Plymouth Grove Donor Centre, on Plymouth Grove), where anyone can go along to get a quick 10-minute assessment, involving a simple blood test to assess platelet levels. If eligible, the platelet donation takes around an hour and a half.  A and AB negative blood group donors are particularly sought after, as their platelets can be given to patients of other blood groups.

Speaking on behalf of Manchester Norfolk House Donor Centre, Centre Manager Lindsay Lomax said: “We’re calling on more people in Manchester to give it a try and check if you could be a platelet donor. Donating platelets is an amazing thing to do, and saves and improves lives.”

If you wish to discover if you could be a platelet donor, call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23.

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