The Irish Blood Transfusion Service returns to the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone, from Tuesday, May 7 to Thursday, May 9, with donation sessions from 4.30pm to 8pm and on Sunday, May 12, from 12pm to 3.30pm, with members of the public being urged to give blood and help save lives.
Giving blood is vital to help safe lives and also improves the health of the person donating as transfusions are needed for many reasons, such as, women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and haemorrhage before, during or after childbirth; children with severe anaemia often resulting from malaria or malnutrition; people with severe trauma following man-made and natural disasters and many complex medical and surgical procedures and cancer patients.
It is also needed for regular transfusions for people with sickle cell disease and is used to make products such as clotting factors for people with haemophilia.
There is a constant need for regular blood supply because blood can be stored for only a limited time before use. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed.
Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person, the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components, red cells, platelets and plasma, which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.