NATIONAL BLOOD WEEK: NHS encourages blood donors to come forward

London – VIJAY SHAH

As National Blood Week (19-25 June 2017) reaches its end, the U.K National Health Service is encouraging people to come forward and donate blood to help those who need it most, with an online strategy covering websites and social media such as Facebook, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

The NHS Blood and Transplant division launched National Blood Week with a campaign to get more people visiting their local blood donation centre with a series of advertisements and even a hashtag #ImThere. The campaign was set up to celebrating new and existing blood donors making a difference and helping save people’s lives, according to the NHSBT website.

 

 

Blood donors are being encouraged to proudly announce they have donated via social media to help overcome the reluctance of other members of the public to donate and to solve shortages of certain blood groups, particularly those associated with ethnic minorities.

The NHSBT is particularly keen to get on board more donors of black African and Afro-Caribbean heritage, who are currently vastly underrepresented in the blood donation pool. An appeal was launched to increase the number of black British donors by 40,000, to help fight the effects of sickle cell anaemia among the African and Afro-Caribbean communities. The agency has received support from television presenter Scarlette Douglas, whose brother was a blood transfusion recipient. She spoke with sickle cell sufferer Aaron Thomas on the BBC One Show about the condition and the need for more donors from this community.

Donors are being encouraged to add frames to their Facebook profile photos and special ‘Twibbons’ to their Twitter pages. They can also take a selfie at the blood donation centre and use the #ImThere tag, to get their friends and family to join in and donate too.

NHSBT is also keen to reach out to more people with blood group O- as stocks of this blood type are running very low. The agency runs twenty three permanent centres and visits thousands of venues across England.

SOURCES/IMAGE CREDIT:

NHS Blood Donation, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/givebloodnhs/

“Give blood” – NHS Blood and Transplant https://www.blood.co.uk/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=Junejuly&utm_content=emergency

“National Blood Week 2017” – NHS Blood and Transplant https://www.blood.co.uk/news-and-campaigns/campaigns/national-blood-week-2017/

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NEWHAM COUNCIL: Campaign launched to support safety equipment in Newham’s workplaces

Newham Council, which governs the east London borough of Newham, has offered its support to a citywide campaign to remind businesses and employers generally of the importance of installing life-saving equipment in their premises, the Council’s official publication The Newham Mag has reported.

The Shockingly Easy campaign, organised by the London Ambulance Service, is encouraging companies to place a defibrillator in offices and warehouses. This electronic device can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a company employee or visitor suffering cardiac arrest (heart attack). The machine comes with two pads which are applied to the chest when a cardiac incident occurs, and uses electricity to shock the heart into restarting and pumping blood normally again.

A representative of Newham Council, Cllr. Clive Furness, who is the council’s mayoral advisor for adults and health, helped launch the safety drive’s activities in Newham at a special ceremony in Stratford Shopping Centre. He said to The Newham Mag I urge every business to get a defibrillator. It is vital that these life-saving machines are within easy reach of anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest. It could save their life.” The event demonstrated how to use the equipment, including purchase and installation, as well as staff training in their use. The event also offered opportunities for businesses to get their equipment safety accredited with the Ambulance Service and dispelled many myths currently surrounding defibrillators.

Deutsch: Defibrillator im Rettungsdienst
Deutsch: Defibrillator im Rettungsdienst (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The council have already come on board with the Shockingly Easy campaign themselves by having defibrillation equipment put into place at their main offices at Newham Dockside, near Canning Town in the south of the borough, and councillors are hoping that this will set an example for other private and government organisations to follow suit.

The Stratford event saw ambulance crews with a retinue of resuscitation dummies and defibrillators take over the public plaza inside the shopping centre to show local businesses and shoppers how to use the equipment and save a colleague’s life in as little as five minutes. The London Ambulance Service’s chairman, Richard Hunt CBE, said: “Our latest data shows that there were 304 out of hospital cardiac arrests in Newham in a year and 43 of these occurred in the street and locations like workplaces, gyms, shops, public transport and places of worship.

When you have a cardiac arrest your heart stops, blood is no longer being pumped around the body and you are clinically dead.

It’s crucial that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR – chest compressions and rescue breaths) and defibrillation is given to the patient in the first three to four minutes.”

That event took place on the Wednesday 22nd October, but the quest to get more businesses installing this vital piece of kit on their premises is gathering pace with a similar phase of campaigning gaining the support of the council for Bromley borough, which lies south of the river Thames and Newham.

The London Ambulance Service, an emergency service organisation under the umbrella of the National Health Service, is responsible for running most of the ambulances and emergency vehicles that serve the capital’s hospitals and save thousands of lives every year. Their campaign aims to get a thousand defibrillators fitted at shops, businesses and gyms across London. The service states that only 28% of people who suffer a cardiac arrest at a public place survive without immediate medical intervention, but using a defibrillator means that the survival rate can jump to 80%. The service gives figures that around 10,000 cardiac arrests occur every year in the whole of London, a rate of 27 a day.

A cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and can be a result of heart attack, choking or trauma.

A cardiac arrest is different to a heart attack which happens when an artery becomes obstructed, restricting the flow of blood to the heart. The most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain, though there are other symptoms. If left untreated it can lead to a cardiac arrest, which is when the heart stops beating.

SOURCES:
“Shockingly easy way to save life” – The Newham Mag [Issue 305], Newham Council (5 December 2014)
“Shockingly Easy campaign” – London Ambulance Service NHS Trust/NHS http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/calling_999/emergency_heart_care/cardiac_arrest/defibrillator_accreditation.aspx
“Defibrillators for Newham businesses” – London Ambulance Service NHS Trust/NHS (17 October 2014) http://www.londonambulance.nhs.uk/news/news_releases_and_statements/defibrillators_for_newham_buin.aspx
IMAGE CREDIT:
“File:Biphasischer Defibrillator.jpg” – Jack99, Wikimedia Commons (10 June 2006) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Biphasischer_Defibrillator.jpg