Blood Sweat and Tears; Transfusion Turn-Off as Armchair Fans Tune in to TV Sport

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW DENHOLM

THE summer television sporting bonanza is causing

Scotland's blood transfusion service a major headache.

From June to August is traditionally a lean time for donations as the population makes its annual holiday exodus, but this year supplies of blood have been particularly badly hit.

Transfusion service bosses plan to step up the campaign and aim to target towns and cities throughout Scotland with a series of one-day advertising schemes.

The supply problem started with the Euro 96 Football Championships in England when donors dropped by 8 per cent.

Now the National Blood Transfusion Service is worried about the effect of the Olympics in Atlanta.

And concern comes despite the success of a recent campaign to boost supplies with the slogan `GB - Give Blood Before You Go'.

Gordon Redpath, donor recruitment manager for the West of Scotland, said: `With these popular sporting events we are not getting the usual flow of people coming forward to give blood.'

He added: `Every summer numbers fall because people are off on holiday.

This year we ran a campaign to counteract that trend which proved successful.

`It seems that, on top of the usual fallow period, we have been badly hit by Euro 96 in England. Now we are worried by the Olympics.

`We expect to be hit particularly badly next week when the athletics are on as I can't imagine many people coming to give blood when Liz McColgan is running the marathon.'

The campaign saw donations rise by 10 per cent in July compared with the same month last year.

And because many of the constituent parts of donated blood have a short shelf life, donations need to be topped up.

Mr Redpath added: `Some blood parts can only be kept for five days and others for up to 35 days so we need to have people coming forward all the time.'

By ANDREW DENHOLMTHE SUMMER'S line-up of top sporting events so beloved of armchair fans everywhere is causing Scotland's blood transfusion service a major headache. The months of June to August are traditionally a lean time for blood donations as the population begins its annual exodus to sunnier climes, but this year supplies of blood have been particularly badly hit. …