New figures show more women than men donate blood in Stoke-on-Trent.
During National Blood Week (June 10 to 16), NHS Blood and Transplant is urgently calling for more men to start donating at it's Belmont Street centre - saying it needs 360 new male donors over the next year.
Currently, only 41% of the active blood donors there are male. Nationally, the number of male donors has also been dropping worryingly quickly.
Men generally have higher iron levels than women, so they are more likely to be able to donate on any given day. Donors with low iron levels cannot donate to protect their own health.
Men also do not make new antibodies, which are part of the body’s defence system, during pregnancy. That makes it easier to match their blood to patients, and also easier to use their blood in products such as plasma and platelets, which are used for patients with cancer, major blood loss, burns injuries, and more.
Factors affecting male donor recruitment are thought to include the popularity of social media appeals, which are more popular with women. Men are more likely to view their first donation as a personal achievement, whereas women are more likely to be motivated by concern for the well-being of others..
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Blood donation saves lives.
“Men are more likely to be able to donate, and able to help more patients with each donation, so we need a new generation of young male donors, to ensure our donor base is strong enough to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals.
“We can assure men that out there that blood donation is an amazing experience that you can feel proud of. Giving blood at Stoke Donor Centre is quick and easy – we aim to have you in and out within an hour but the actual donation itself should only take around 10 minutes. We need men to start their own blood story.”
Fore more information on how to become a donor, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.