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Blood donations from men plummet as NHS says they are less motivated

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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Blood donations from men are plummeting, it emerges, as the NHS says they are less motivated by altruism than women.The number of male donors in England has decreased by almost a quarter in the last five years, according to new figures by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), falling from 466,346 in 2013/14 to 350,425 in 2018/19.NHSBT believes this “worrying” trend could be because men are less inclined to give blood if they don’t know who it is going to and prefer to see first-hand who they are helping.It also suggests that women are more likely to be encouraged to make donations because they are more receptive to social media appeals.”NHS Blood and Transplant is currently analysing donor recruitment trends to understand the reasons for the decline and is now working on reaching more male potential donors,” NHSBT said.”Factors affecting male donor recruitment are thought to include the popularity of social media appeals, which are more popular with women.”Men are more likely to view their first donation as a personal achievement, whereas women are more likely to be motivated by altruism.”Men are more likely to be able to give blood than women because they have higher iron levels. It is also easier to use their blood for products like plasma and platelets.Women who have gone through pregnancy can also have antibodies in their blood, which can make it harder to match with recipients.Men are being urged to register as donors to ensure the service maintains a safe supply.Mike Stredder, director of blood donation at NHSBT, said: “We need more new male donors to address the worrying long-term decline in male donors.”Men are more likely to be able to donate, and able to help more patients with each donation, so we need a new generation of young male donors to ensure our donor base is strong enough to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals.”We can assure men out there that blood donation is an amazing experience that you can feel proud of.”Giving blood is quick and easy – we aim to have you in and out within an hour but the actual donation itself should only take around 10 minutes.” read more