Cyber Attack Urgency: London’s Demand for O Blood Type Donors

England’s Chief Medical Officer supports NHS Blood and Transplant’s urgent appeal for O Positive and O Negative blood donors to schedule appointments at one of the 25 town and city NHS Blood Donor Centres across England. This call aims to bolster stocks of O type blood following a recent cyber incident in London.

National Blood Week highlights the critical need for blood donations, with hospitals requiring three donations every minute to address emergencies, childbirth, and routine treatments. Despite the cyber attack impacting blood matching capabilities at affected hospitals, the NHS advises patients to continue presenting themselves as usual.

The IT disruption has prompted hospitals to rely more heavily on O type blood, which is universally safe for all patients and has a shelf life of 35 days, necessitating ongoing replenishment of stocks. Consequently, an increased number of these blood units will be essential in the coming weeks to support frontline healthcare efforts.

O Negative, known as the universal blood type, can be administered to anyone and is crucial in emergencies or cases where a patient’s blood type is unknown. Despite only 8 percent of the population having O Negative blood, it accounts for approximately 15 percent of hospital orders. Meanwhile, O Positive, the most common blood type at 35 percent of donors, can be given to anyone with a positive blood type, benefiting 76 percent of the population.

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