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NHS declares first-ever ‘amber alert’ over critically low blood supplies

The NHS has declared its first-ever amber alert over blood supplies, which have fallen to critically low levels.

The alert means some non-urgent operations that require blood are likely to be impacted, with hospitals advised to swap in other surgeries which do not require blood.

A letter is due to go out to hospitals on Wednesday, The Independent was told.

Hospitals will be asked to make individual decisions over whether to postpone surgeries such as hip replacements but will continue to carry out urgent surgeries and blood transfusions for those with long term conditions.

The “amber-alert” will last for four weeks initially, NHS Blood and Transplant has said.

Wendy Clark, interim chief of NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Asking hospitals to limit their use of blood is not a step we take lightly. This is a vital measure to protect patients who need blood the most.

“Patients are our focus. I sincerely apologise to those patients who may see their surgery postponed because of this."

“With the support of hospitals and the measures we are taking to scale up collection capacity, we hope to be able to build stocks back to a more sustainable footing."

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Source: The Independent, 12 October 2022


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