NHS calls for type O blood donations after cyber attack delays transfusions | Health

An appeal has been launched for type O blood donors to book appointments across England following the ransomware attack that hit major London hospitals.

NHS Blood and Transplant is appealing for donations of type O blood as it is safe to use for all patients. The cyberattack means that affected hospitals cannot compare patients’ blood as frequently as usual.

Several London hospitals last week declared a critical incident, canceling operations and tests and unable to perform blood transfusions after the attack on pathology company Synnovis, which is believed to be behind Qilin, a Russian cybercriminal group.

Memos to NHS staff at King’s College, Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals (including Royal Brompton and Evelina London Children’s hospital) and London primary care services said a critical incident had been declared.

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking O-positive and O-negative blood donors to book appointments at one of the 25 NHS blood donation centers in England to boost stock.

Hospitals affected by the cyberattack are unable to compare patients’ blood as frequently as usual, NHS Blood and Transplant said.

For surgeries and procedures that require blood, hospitals must use type O blood as it is safe for all patients. Blood has a shelf life of 35 days so stocks must be continually replenished, the NHS said.

That means that more units of this type of blood than usual will be needed in the coming weeks.

O-negative is the type that can be given to anyone, known as the universal blood type. It is used in emergencies or when a patient’s blood type is unknown. Air ambulances and emergency response vehicles carry O-negative supplies.

Eight percent of the population is type O negative, but it accounts for about 15 percent of hospital orders.

O-positive is the most common blood type, 35% of donors have it and it can be given to anyone with any positive blood type. This means that three out of four people, or 76% of the population, can benefit from an O-positive donation.

This National Blood Week, it was revealed that hospitals need three blood donations per minute. There are around 13,000 appointments available nationally this week at NHS blood donation centres, with 3,400 available in London.

Dr Gail Miflin, medical director of NHS Blood and Transplant, said:

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“To help London hospitals carry out more surgeries and provide the best possible care to all patients, we need more O negative and 0 positive donors than usual. Book an urgent appointment to donate blood at one of our 25 town and city donation centers which currently have good appointment availability.

“We have availability for donors who know they are type O, but we also welcome new donors who do not yet know their blood type. “You might have one of these special types that can be used in emergencies.”

Professor Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, said: “NHS staff continue to do everything they can to minimize significant disruption to patients following the ransomware cyber attack on Synnovis earlier this week.”

He continued: “To help London staff support and treat more patients, they need access to O-negative and O-positive blood, so if one of these is your blood type, make one of the 13,000 appointments currently available in the NHS. blood donation centers.

For more information, find GiveBlood online and on social media or visit Blood.co.uk

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