The NHS have scotched media claims that they have issued a specific ‘call-out’ for Irish blood donors due to the natives’ prevalence of a ‘universal’ blood type.
An Irish newspaper this morning reported on its front page that the NHS were specifically targeting Irish donors. The reason given was that Irish natives have more chance of carrying ‘useful’ O+, B+ and A- blood types than the general British population.
However, NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson Sarah Whyte told the Irish World that these figures did not specifically come from the NHS.
“There’s been a couple of crossed wires, we’re not appealing to people from Ireland. We need to get donors from a whole range of blood groups,” she said.
“A communication to local Irish communities living in England encouraging them to donate has caught the Irish media’s attention. This communication should not be interpreted out of context as we need donors from all communities.
“We work hard to ensure we always collect the right amount of blood, at the right time, of each blood group to meet patient needs. Some blood groups are more prevalent in some ethnic communities than others. As the country is ethnically diverse, it’s important that our donors come from diverse backgrounds too.”
The fact that Irish people carry certain blood types mean donors would help patients with that type, but other ethnic communities are called to donate too so as to account for Britain’s mixed community.
“We’re always just trying to get the right balance and mixture from blood donors to come forward,” she added.