Extra clinics needed to deal with shortage in blood supply

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service is to put on extra clinics in the run up to Christmas in an effort to deal with diminishing blood supplies.

The IBTS is urging people to give blood - as it expects 14,000 blood donations will be needed in hospitals during Christmas and the New Year.

Additional clinics will be in operation around the country on December 22, 29 and January 55.

A full list is available on the IBTS website.

Director of Operations at the IBTS, Paddy Bowler, said that new EU rules on iron levels is also putting a strain on the blood supply.

"For a donor to give blood, one of the things we do is we check their iron level," he said.

"We're now meeting an EU directive, and to meet that EU directive, threshold iron level has had to go up by about half a gram, which means that about 1,250 donors a month, who previously would have been eligible, are not eligible to donate anymore.

"So we need further donors to come forward to replace those losses."

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