Your blood saves lives every day

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YOU don’t have to run into a burning building, dive into a freezing lake, or tackle a gun-toting villain to be a lifesaver.

In fact, thousands of people in Belper regularly save lives by doing something far simpler - giving blood.

Since January, Belper townsfolk have donated 324 pints of the vital fluid to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

It means your blood could have saved or improved the lives of 972 patients, as each donation can help up to three adults and seven babies.

One such recipient is six-year-old Derbyshire youngster Owen Broughton.

The primary school pupil has a rare condition known as short bowel syndrome and cerebral palsy, which means he can only take meals via a tube straight to his stomach.

Despite his age, the youngster has had 28 blood and 29 platelet transfusions in his life already.

“Without them Owen wouldn’t be here today,” said his mum Tara Broughton, 29. “There was a time when he was in intensive care when he was four months old.

“If there was no blood available he wouldn’t have survived. It’s so important that people keep donating.”

Full-time carer Tara, said it is vital that people of all blood types get along to sessions to donate. Even stocks of the most common group, O, need to be kept high, due to its demand.

And the range of conditions the claret stuff can be used to help is staggering.

One of the biggest uses is to help mothers and babies who suffer complications during childbirth. It can help premature babies replace blood lost during surgery, people involved in accidents and to treat patients with cancer and blood diseases like leukaemia.

If you want to be a lifesaver too, the next chance to donate is at Belper Leisure Centre, on Sunday, April 22. Doors are open from 9.45 until 12.45pm and then again from 2pm until 3.45pm.