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 The Donor magazine summer 2018

Hello and welcome to the summer 2018 edition

Ian Trenholm

In this edition of our newsletter, we celebrate the fantastic advancements in tailor-made red blood cells which our scientists are creating in the lab. This is a huge step towards treating patients who cannot currently be closely matched with donor blood.

We also congratulate Dr Meli who has worked with the Ministry of Defence to investigate the quality of red blood cells after aerial delivery to ships at sea, leading to a potential new service for patients.

In our summer campaign we are asking people to think about who they would ‘bleed for…’. What was it that prompted you to become a blood donor and keep coming back? Could you help us in our quest for the 700 donors that we need every day by asking family and friends to consider donating? Sometimes a brief conversation is all it takes for you to recruit another donor.

We reflect on the challenges that this year has brought – including the ‘Beast from the East’. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all sincerely for your continued support – for keeping your appointments when it was particularly difficult, and for going the extra mile (sometimes literally!) to give blood and keep hospitals supplied with these vital donations.

This edition looks specifically at O-negative blood, also known as the ‘universal’ blood type. We show how these vital red cells helped Andrew Robinson when he was treated at the scene of a horrific motorcycle accident and ask you to encourage family members to give blood if you are O-negative.

We celebrate the success of the B Positive choir after they reached final of Britain’s Got Talent. They sing to raise awareness of sickle cell disease and blood donation and their performance of ‘Rise Up’ bowled over the judges and audience.

Read about the incredibly selfless act of Diana Reynolds who decided to become a living donor when she donated her kidney to a complete stranger last year.

We’ve also put together a handy online guide for those of you who are keen to manage your appointments and keep track of your donations via our website and app. You can read about the changes that may affect your donations as we continue to further improve your comfort and safety when giving blood.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support. It really does mean so much to so many patients whose lives are saved or improved because of your donations.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive

Write and tell us your news, views and interesting or unusual donor stories by emailing thedonor@nhsbt.nhs.uk