Number of blood donations down last year
The number of blood donations was down by more than 5,000 last year compared to 2011, it was revealed today.
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service's annual report revealed that 141,350 donations were made in 2012.
They came from just over 85,000 donors - approximately 48,000 men and 37,000 women.
The IBTS needs to collect 3,000 units of blood every week to meet demand.
More than 15,000 donors gave blood for the first time last year. More than half of the donors were aged between 18 and 24.
"This was due to a higher deferral rate of 18.49% which was primarily as a result of a change in the management of blood haemoglobin levels which saw the deferral rate rise to 25% on occasions," said IBTS chief executive Andy Kelly.
"Overall, 2012 was a very busy and challenging year. We transferred the recombinant business, we consolidated virology testing, we introduced selective testing for West Nile Virus, we developed and implemented an Electronic Ordering System and began using the Balanced Scorecard methodology to develop the next Strategic Plan.
"Since 2008 the IBTS has reduced its cost base by 21% and there has been a 10% decrease in the number of staff employed. In spite of this, maintaining very high standards of quality and service to patients and donors remains our priority."
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