Scotland

Scots teen backs international blood donor campaign

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Media captionBobbi McBurnie and her mother, Carol, are taking part in the campaign

A teenager who received blood transfusions for the first two years of her life has helped to launch a campaign urging Scots to donate blood.

Bobbi McBurnie, 14, was born weighing less than 2lbs and had to be given blood transfusions to survive.

Bobbi and her mother, Carol, are now encouraging people to give blood and to know their own blood type.

The campaign aims to highlight the importance of the the four main blood groups A, B, O and AB.

As part of it Bobbi, from Haddington in East Lothian, stars in a film along with other patients from 21 countries around the world.

She said: "I have always known I was born very prematurely, and my mum has told me I was lucky to survive. Now I am 14, I understand that without blood donors I wouldn't be here.

"I'm proud to represent Scotland in the video, and hope it makes lots of people think about becoming a blood donor."

Research from the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) shows only 38% of people in Scotland know their own blood type. This rises to 61% among those who have given blood.

Image caption Bobbi McBurnie was born weighing 2lbs

The Missing Type campaign has been joined by 23 blood services around the world.

Over 30 organisations across Scotland will be removing A, B and O from their social media posts to raise awareness in the campaign.

SNBTS Associate Director of Donor Services Dr Moira Carter said: "In total there are eight different blood groups of which SNBTS aims to maintain a six to eight day supply at all times.

"We are asking the people of Scotland to register as blood donors, donate and support us by being blood group aware."

SNBTS also said that blood stock levels change from day to day and sometimes they need to make an appeal for donors with a particular blood type whilst they may have an adequate supply of other types.

The number of new blood donors in Scotland has declined by 30% in the last five years.

Statistics also show that, while 96% of new donors are under the age of 55 years, SNBTS increasingly rely on donors over 55 to make sure that there is always enough blood for patients.

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