Health Trust chief encourages blood donation

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Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Paul McElkerney, Donor Recruitment and Organisational Manager for the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service and Marie Conway, Senior Nurse /Unit Leader, take a blood donation from Mairead McAlinden, Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

The Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Mairead McAlinden has encouraged people to become blood donors. Giving blood for the first time, Mairead said: “I’ve always meant to get round to donating blood and made it one of my new year’s resolutions this year.  When I heard about the recent shortage of blood stocks, it made me even more determined to make time to do it. Giving blood is vitally important for proper delivery of health care, and it was very quick, easy and convenient to do.” She continued, “I just logged on the website, registered and checked the date of my local session. I got a letter giving me all the information I needed. The staff at the session were lovely – very friendly and reassuring, and it took less than an hour to do. I was also very impressed by the number of young people attending the session and talked to some people who had been giving blood for years. I was also surprised to learn that only 6% of people who could give blood actually do so – now I’m part of that 6% – and that 9,000 new donors are needed each year just to keep at the current level of donation. It just makes you realise just how important new blood donors are, and how much we owe to those people who regularly give blood.” On the benefits of giving blood, Mairead added, “Blood donation is life saving and life enhancing. Many of us know someone who has benefited from blood transfusion following a trauma or road traffic accident, during surgery, after childbirth or for the treatment of cancer. Hospitals greatly rely on a continual supply of blood to carry out these procedures and ensure that patients receive the best possible care and chance of survival. That is why I appeal to anyone who is not on the register to sign up and become a donor.” Donor Recruitment and Organisational Manager for the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, Paul McElkerney said, “Giving blood is such an easy thing to do and literally speaking, by Mairead giving blood today she will probably help save someone’s life within three to four days.” For more information please call us on 0500 534 66, visit or, enrol by texting the word blood to 60081.
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