In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of knife crimes in large cities. This increasing number has had a knock-on effect on the nation’s blood stock at urban trauma centres according to the British Society for Haematology.
Those at the Royal Society of Medicine's conference on knife crime discussed the worrying ‘spike’ of occurrences taking place at the end of the school day; young teenagers are finding themselves caught up in this dangerous trend, either as victims or perpetrators.
In the last year, 44,000 knife offences were reported in England and Wales, which is a 22% increase on previous years.
This high volume of knife crime has increased the number of substantial blood transfusions and repeated operations; this has drawn heavily on the already limited blood stock.
Due to the sustained hot weather there has already been a reduction in blood donations. However the need for blood has remained the same.
Mike Stredder, director of blood donation, said:
“The long spell of sunshine has been great in many ways but some people have chosen to stay in the sun instead of giving blood, and some people haven’t been hydrated enough to donate safely.”
He then went on to say:
“O negative blood is the most important types of blood and can be transfused to almost any person in need.”
A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant said:
“If we don’t collect enough O negative blood donations in the coming weeks, stocks may fall below two days.”
As of 8 August, a fresh appeal had been issued for black people to donate blood because of a chronic shortage of the Ro subtype.
The NHS says the need is particularly urgent in London, where there has been an 80% increase in demand for the subtype over the past three years.
If you would like more information on how to give blood please visit: www.blood.co.uk