Gloucestershire blood donors invited to enrol in Interval research
BLOOD donors in Gloucestershire are being invited to take part in a groundbreaking study that could shape the future of blood donation nationally and internationally.
The study, which is taking place at the Blood Donor Centre in Gloucester, aims to find out whether the length of time between blood donations can be tailored to individual donors.
Professor David Roberts, who is leading the study, said: “Ultimately, we aim to make giving blood easier by providing more opportunities for a person to donate, while keeping them safe from anaemia.”
The study, known as Interval, will gather evidence from 50,000 donors to find out whether factors including age, weight and diet affect how often donors can give blood safely.
The study will aim to address projected shortages in blood supply by allowing donors to give blood more often. The NHS needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily and collects approximately 2 million units of blood each year from 1.4 million donors.
Donating blood can lower the body’s iron levels and current interval rules are set to minimise iron deficiency. In England, men are allowed to give blood once every 12 weeks and women can donate every 16 weeks.
Interval will be taking place at 25 donor centres across across England, forming part of the routine practice at those centres. The study is being run by Oxford and Cambridge Universities in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).
Lorna Williams, Medical and Research Director of NHSBT, said: “This research is part of the 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 to take part in the research started in June and will continue into 2013, with results beginning to emerge by 2015. By mid-September, around 7,500 donors had already enrolled to take part in the study.
For more information or to take part in the study, visit the Interval website .