As Mother’s Day approaches, NHS Blood and Transplant is asking Kettering residents to think about mothers and children whose lives have been saved by blood donations as they appeal for more donors.
While many people think that blood is used mainly for accident and emergency procedures, donated blood is vital for a wide variety of life-saving procedures.
A blood transfusion can help to save the life of a new mother or be used during pregnancy to help treat both the mother and the baby.
Premature babies may need a blood transfusion as well, as they may not make enough new red cells to replace the blood that is taken for essential testing.
Michelle Laserna, senior marketing co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “During March we are encouraging people to think about other mothers and families in addition to their own.
“One blood donation can save or improve the lives of up to three people so donors really can make a huge difference each time they attend a session.
“Our dedicated blood donors have helped us to keep blood stocks at a healthy level over the winter months and we would like to thank them for this.
“However, the need for blood never stops and more than 6,000 blood donations are needed by hospitals in England every day.
“Giving blood doesn’t take too long. It should take less than an hour from arriving at your appointment time to completing your donation.
“So please make the time to give blood, you never know whose life you could save.”
Miss Laserna added that they particularly need more young people in Kettering to start giving blood to replace those who can no longer donate, and to ensure they have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future. In particular they need more black and South Asian donors.
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh more than 7st 12lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood.
If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
To book an appointment to donate visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23 to find your nearest session.