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Pets and people give blood in Doncaster

Beechwood Veterinary Hospital is not only helping save the lives of sick pets, it could help save their owners too. The surgery is the first and only place in the country where both dogs and people can give blood.

The Doncaster Veterinary Hospital has teamed up with the National Blood Service (NBS) and Pet Blood Bank UK (PBBuk) to offer this important and valuable service.

Mark Straw, veterinary surgeon and associate director said: ‘I'm a regular blood donor and know how important it is to give blood for humans and their pets so it seems obvious that we should try to combine the two services. Our other staff thought so too and so did the owners of our patients. I am delighted that Beechwood is now a people and pets lifesaver.’

The NBS sessions take place on the organisation's bloodmobile which has three beds, health screening booth and the all important tea and biscuit area. The bloodmobile travels to various companies and organisations around South Yorkshire. Craig Taylor of the NBS told Our Dogs that to be a donor you need to be aged between 17 and your 60th birthday, in general good health and weigh over 50kg (7 stone 12 lbs). He said, ‘Although we get 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily in the UK, only 4% of the eligible population are active blood donors so we can always do with more. There are 4 main blood groups - O, A, B and AB. Group O is the most common and therefore the most in demand. Over 95 per cent of the blood collected is processed into its main components - red cells, platelets and plasma. A regular supply of blood is vital - red cells last only 35 days and platelets only 5 days.’

Mark Straw told us that pets are much less complicated and usually the blood of any pet can be used for the same species.