The figures show increases in the number of people donating blood last year and in first-time donors.
The Minister said:
“In 2018 the IBTS were faced with a number of challenges, but primarily among them was Storm Emma."
“The impact of the storm left the blood supply severely depleted due to the necessary cancellation of clinics nationwide. The Irish people showed extraordinary leadership during this time and continued to donate blood and maintain the vital supply of blood to our hospitals during this period.”
The Minister added:
“Every year about 1% of the population needs a blood transfusion and one in four of us will require blood at some point in our lives. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service needs 3,000 blood donations every week to meet demand."
“The report shows an increase in the number of people donating and an increase in the number of people donating for the first time in comparison to last year. But it also highlights we need to improve too. We see small numbers in the 18-24 age category donating and we need to see what we can to improve that."
“Patients in hospitals all around the country are helped in their recovery by the ready availability of blood on a weekly basis. I would urge all blood donors, and those who would like to be blood donors, to visit their nearest clinic and to give blood."
For further information on donor eligibility and the clinic venues nationwide, please visit the website www.giveblood.ie.