O-type blood donors needed after London cyber-attack

An appeal has been launched for O blood-type donors to book appointments across the country following the ransomware attack affecting major London hospitals.

The IT attack means the affected hospitals cannot currently match patients’ blood at the same frequency as usual.

Several London hospitals declared a critical incident, cancelled operations and tests, and were unable to carry out blood transfusions last week after the attack on the pathology firm Synnovis, which Qilin, a Russian group of cyber criminals, is understood to have been behind.

On Monday afternoon, the NHS blood donation website implemented a queuing system for booking appointments, which is used to manage times of higher demand.

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for O positive and O negative blood donors to book appointments in one of the 25 NHS Blood Donor Centres, external in England.

For surgeries and procedures requiring blood to take place, hospitals need to use O- type blood – known as the universal blood type – as this is safe to use for all patients. It is used in emergencies or when a patient’s blood type is unknown.

Blood has a shelf life of 35 days so stocks need to be continually replenished, the NHS said.

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Source: BBC News