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UK blood supplies in ‘critical’ state due to Covid & flu

The UK’s NHS Blood and Transplant service has warned it’s facing a “critical” situation over the winter, as seasonal viruses such as cold and flu halt donations, leaving blood stocks at a dangerously low level.
While it seeks to maintain at least five days’ worth of reserves across the UK, its stocks are currently at risk of falling to below two days’ worth.

This is the second time in the past 12 months that the NHS has stated that it is facing a critical incident. During the summer, it warned it was struggling to cope with high demand, with the Covid pandemic increasing the volume of 999 calls to the second-highest level they’ve ever reached.

Blood stocks haven’t been this low since the 2018 ‘beast from the east’ storm, which prevented would-be donors from giving blood. Bad weather in 2019 further hampered donation drives and also caused a drop in supplies.

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“Winter is always a challenging period for blood stocks, but seasonal pressures are happening earlier, and we are concerned that the colder weather and higher rates of cold and flu, alongside Covid-19, including the booster vaccine programme, could make the situation more critical this year,” the NHS Blood and Transplant service said in a statement.

Calling on people to support the NHS during this difficult time, it urged “existing and returning donors” to “act now to help build stocks … to ensure patients continue to get the lifesaving blood they need.” It had previously warned that, without any changes to the current situation, it would be facing “insufficient” stocks from January to March 2022, forcing the NHS to review its approach for the post-winter period.

While not the main reason cited for the low supplies, the service raised concerns about the long-lasting effects of the Covid pandemic, with the situation over the past two years having “prompted concerns” about donation levels.
https://ift.tt/3ykej8i 13, 2021 at 06:59PM
from RT – Daily news

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