Blood Donation Now A Lifesaving Choice For More Of Us
More people are able to be blood donors following changes to the UK blood service rules. The changes apply to people with diabetes, and also those with high blood pressure, who manage their condition by taking tablets. The UK Blood Services Standing Advisory Committee on Care and Selection of Donors has concluded that donation is safe for these people, as long as they have no complications or other underlying medical conditions. In the UK almost one in twenty people has diabetes. Increasing numbers of people are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which mainly affects adults. The majority manage their condition by taking tablets and most are fit and healthy.
This change has been welcomed by leading health charity Diabetes UK. Libby Dowling, Care Advisor at Diabetes UK said: We welcome these new guidelines and are pleased that some people with diabetes are now eligible to donate blood if they wish to. There are 2.3 million people with diabetes in the UK and these new regulations mean that a significant proportion of people with the condition can now help save lives by donating blood.
The blood services have also changed the guidelines for people with high blood pressure (Hypertension), a condition that also affects about one in twenty of us. High blood pressure is being treated at a much earlier stage than previously, and with an increasingly wide range of drugs.
Dr Lorna Williamson, Medical Director NHSBT said:
Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are diagnosed in increasing numbers of people. Many were regular blood donors who were saddened when they had to stop donating. Guidelines are in place to ensure safety of both donors and patients. The committee regularly reviews new evidence and that has shown that it is safe for them to donate so this restriction has been lifted. We look forward to welcoming them to a blood donor session soon.
Although many people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure are fit and healthy, there will be some who are not. To ensure that giving blood is safe, donors always fill in a health check questionnaire and talk to a trained member of staff before giving blood. If you are uncertain whether you are eligible to donate, call our helpline on 08457 711 711 or visit our website www.blood.co.uk. You can also call us or use our website to find your local blood donor session and book an appointment to give blood.
For further information please call the NHSBT Press Pager on 07659 133583 The National Blood Service is a part of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). NHSBT is a Special Health Authority within the NHS. NHSBT is responsible for optimising the supply of blood, organs, plasma and tissues and raising the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of blood and transplant services.