The Etablissement Français du Sang has launched an appeal for blood donations in the PACA region, with a particularly urgent need for donors with type O negative to come forward.
The EFS, France’s sole public service provider of blood products, relies entirely on blood donations to fulfil the nation’s blood needs.
Blood is certainly required in cases of accidents and traumas, but the EFS’ main role is to supply a steady source to patients with medical conditions such anaemia, blood cancer and those having surgeries.
LESS COLLECTIONS IN MAY
May is a tricky month for the organisation. Between the school breaks and public bank holidays, the number of donations plummets, leaving shortages that can lead to dire consequences.
The holiday closures of donation facilities compound the problem. On days when the centres are closed, roughly 2,000 bags are not collected in PACA, with that number rising to 25,000 nationwide. With a short shelf life of only seven days for platelets and 42 days for red blood cells, the missed days cost precious resources.
TYPE O NEGATIVE IN SHORT SUPPLY
In the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, there is a shortage of all blood types, but collections of the rare type O negative are particularly low. People with this blood group are being invited to come forward as soon as possible to relieve some of the pressure.
“Donors of group O, and more precisely those who have a negative rhesus factor, are invited to go to one of the collection centres,” said Pauline Koskas, the director of Donor Relations at the Etablissement Français du Sang in Nice. “They are few in number, only 6% of the population, and are considered to be universal donors.”
Being a universal donor means that this blood group can be given to anyone, regardless of their type. It’s vitally important in emergency situations, such as accidents and premature births, when health care professionals often don’t know a patient’s blood type.
To give blood during May, or anytime of the year, and to find the nearest collection point, visit www.dondesang.efs.sante.fr or download the Don de Sang app.
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