·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
Wed, 12 October 2022 at 2:28 pm
Brits have rushed to donate blood after the NHS Blood and Transport (NHSBT) declared its first-ever amber alert as supplies dropped critically low.
After the alert broke calling on donors, the ‘Give Blood‘ website page became inundated with people, with many placed in a queue of around an hour.
The queuing system page explains that there are periods when both the blood.co.uk website or the NHSGiveBlood app get a high volume of traffic due to attention from press or social media.
It uses a queue to manage business on the site by allowing only a set number of people to use the services at a time, to ensure that once you leave the queue, you get a ‘good experience’ as its systems aren’t overloaded
“How long you will have to wait depends on how many people are trying to use the web site or app. You will be able to see your position in the queue and an estimate for how long you need to wait,” it states.
Phone lines run by the NHSBT have also seen a rise in calls.
This follows hospitals being told to implement plans to protect stocks, which could mean non-urgent operations that require blood are postponed to prioritise them for patients most in need.
A NHSBT spokesperson said current overall blood stocks in the NHS are at 3.1 days but levels of type O blood have fallen to below two days. O negative is the universal blood type that can be given to everyone, which is crucial during emergencies and when someone’s blood type is unknown.
Existing O negative and O positive donors are being called on to book in at blood centres and give blood, while people from other blood groups are being asked to keep their appointments.
Additional reporting PA.