THEY are the men and women on the ground who ensures your precious blood gets to those who need it.
With the endless demand for blood, the work of donor carers such as Kym Stiles is vital to build up the blood stocks that saves lives every day.
But with only four per cent of the population giving blood, they face an uphill battle to keep the supply flowing to emergency departments and surgical theatres up and down the county.
Kym has been a donor carer for three years and has met thousands of people from all walks of life who have spared just a few minutes of their time to give blood.
The 46-year-old from Sholing believes the Daily Echo’s Gift of Life Appeal is a brilliant campaign and is urging readers to sign up today.
With your help we want to recruit 1,000 new donors to save 3,000 lives this summer.
Now is the crucial time to build up blood stocks before the winter, when many of us will be unable to donate because of flu and illness.
Donor carers like Kym are constantly recruiting new donors, whether it’s out on the road at mobile sessions or at the National Blood Service Centre at Southampton General Hospital.
But just as important as the blood is the health of those sacrificing their time to donate, and Kym and her colleagues are there every step of the way.
As trained venepuncturists they insert the needle into the vein, monitor the donation and check the donor is well enough to leave, before ensuring the blood is packed safely in the cool bags, ready to be dispatched.
“Every day we strive to get more donors, the demand is endless”, Kym said.
“We spend the average day taking blood from donors, ensuring they are OK and then making sure that their precious blood is kept cool and packed off safely to the hospitals where it is needed.
“Of course the blood is important, but paramount for us is the comfort of the donors who are are voluntarily coming to us.
“We like donors to sit and rest for about 15 minutes afterwards, to have a cold drink and a snack before heading off.
“The donors we get are wonderful people from all walks of life, which is the best thing about the job. We even get Pompey fans giving us banter about the Saints.
“There’s also a sense of achievement when we send off the bags of blood because we know that they will be saving a life.
“The Daily Echo appeal is a brilliant idea. We have to try to reach certain targets every week and try to provide the hospitals with the supply of blood they demand.
“It’s important for people to take action and sign up because there is no alternative to blood. The demand is endless.”