DSAA supports Missing Type campaign for new blood donors

August 16, 2016 by Tracy

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is supporting this year’s Missing Type campaign for new blood donors.

The international campaign - first held by NHS Blood and Transplant in 2015 - brings together 25 blood services from 21 countries to call for new donors to ensure blood donation for future generations.

Throughout the campaign As, Bs and Os - the letters of the main blood groups - are disappearing in everyday and iconic locations around the world including America, Australia, Japan and Ireland. Patients from around the world have thanked blood donors in a moving video and famous names in participating nations are backing the campaign.

With many of Dorset and Somerset’s Critical Care Team being regular donors, it was no surprise that they were keen to show their support.  Removing the letters As Bs and Os from the DSAA helicopter was seen as a little extreme, so instead they created a board which changed the Charity’s logo to red and omitted the important letters before they travelled to a local donation centre to give blood themselves.

Now the crew of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance are calling for people across the two counties to do the same and register as the new blood donors of the future.  In England, there is a particular need for more young blood donors, more black and Asian donors and more donors with O negative and A negative blood.

Dr. Phil Hyde, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Medical Lead said:  “Earlier this year, we announced an enhancement in our critical care capability with the carriage of blood products on board our aircraft.  Emergency blood transfusions are usually given to patients who suffer life-threatening bleeding caused by major trauma or acute medical conditions.  40% of trauma deaths are due to bleeding, so being able to carry and administer blood products to these patients before they get to hospital could be a matter of life or death.

“We are delighted to be able to support the Missing Type campaign and hope that the people of Dorset and Somerset will help ‘fill in the gaps’ by registering as new donors. Blood transfusions save lives and we need people across Dorset and Somerset to register as new donors at www.blood.co.uk.  Every donation helps or saves up to three people.”

Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, the service that collects, tests and processes blood for hospitals across England, said: “Blood donation is an amazing gift and we are really grateful to Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance for their support.

“Thanks to the generosity of our current donors, hospitals have the blood needed to treat patients and there is not a crisis in blood stocks. Despite overall blood use in hospitals declining, we need more people to start giving blood to replace those who can no longer donate and to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups to match patient needs in the future.

“We need more young donors to help ensure the future of blood donation. We also particularly need more donors from Black African, Black Caribbean, mixed race, Arab and South Asian heritage to become blood donors to reflect the ethnic diversity of patients.

“Don’t worry if you’ve never given blood before and don’t know what blood group you are – you find out shortly after your first donation. What’s important is that you register as a donor and book your first appointment to donate.”

  • To sign up as a new donor, visit: blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.
  • Support the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram #MissingType.