The Irish Blood Transfusion Service says the donations are badly needed.

Blood. Image shows a blood donation procedure under way.

(Source: Pixabay)

The CEO of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service says more donations are needed urgently.

Its annual report for 2021 has been released today, showing the Service collected slightly more blood last year than in 2020.

Despite this, it had to invoke a special agreement with Britain‘s NHS twice, to import emergency supplies to keep up with demand.

CEO Orla O’Brien says Ireland is not the only country facing shortages coming into the winter:

“Most other European countries, and indeed most other global blood establishments also are in the same boat in terms of their supply has also been very challenging during COVID.

“That is something that everyone is still trying to get back onto an even keel with, especially as we’re facing into another winter where we will have flu and COVID still.”

Orla has also described why regular blood donation is so important:

“Blood has a lifespan of only 35 days so we constantly have to replenish, so every week we know we have to collect somewhere in the order of about 3,000 units. 

“That means that we have to have at least 40 clinics throughout the country, we need about 2,500 people to donate every week, and that’s irrespective of what’s going on, whether it’s COVID or anything else.”