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Blood study could boost donor times
Southampton donors are
being invited to take part in a
ground-breaking study that
could shape the future of
blood donation across the
INTERVAL is the first study of its kind
in the world which aims to create a more
personalised service for donors that
could help boost vital blood stocks.
Southampton’s blood donor centre,
based at Southampton General Hospital,
will be one of the centres taking part in
the research, which will gather evidence
from 50,000 blood donors to see if the
length of time between donations can be
tailored to suit each individual.
It is hoped that using a number of factors
such as age, weight and diet, some
donors will be able to give blood more
frequently, instead of having to wait up
to 16 weeks.
Donating blood can lower the body’s
iron levels and blood donation intervals
are set to minimise iron deficiency.
In England intervals are currently 12
weeks for men and 16 weeks for women
but these vary across Europe.
Men taking part in the study will be
allocated to donate at intervals of eight,
10 or 12 weeks and women at 12, 14 and
16 week intervals over two years.
Dr Lorna Williamson, from the service,
said: “The aim of this ground-breaking
research is to see if donation intervals
can be tailored to suit individual
donors by age, gender and other characteristics.
“This is part of NHSBT’s drive to be
the best organisation of its type in the
world by offering a modern, efficient,
service to donors based on strong clinical
and scientific evidence.”
Recruitment for blood donors will continue
into 2013, with results expected in
Anyone wishing to take part in the
INTERVAL study must be able to give
blood when called at one of NHSBT’s
fixed donor centres, be 18 years or over
and have access to the Internet with a
valid email address.