MEN are being urged to match women in signing up as New Year's blood donors. 

Figures released on Monday found 555 women in Greater Manchester who registered in January 2018 became blood donors compared to 316 men.

This is despite men being more likely to have blood that can be used for products such as platelets and allogeneic serum drops to treat people with dry eye conditions.

Tests have shown men's blood can contain fewer antibodies against red and white blood cells because women often make these antibodies during pregnancy.

This means men's blood is often more suitable for creating blood products used to treat patients.

Men also generally have higher iron levels than women, so are less likely to be deferred from donating due to low haemoglobin.

Factors affecting men becoming donors are thought to include the recent greater use of social media campaigns, which are more popular with women.

Director of blood donation for NHS Blood and Transplant Mike Stredder said: “It’s vital that more men start donating blood because their blood is used to provide life-saving products like plasma and platelets – to save victims of burns, car crashes and treat to patients with cancer.

“We’re incredibly grateful to all our female donors in Greater Manchester who are vital in providing lifesaving blood to those in need.

"But we need men to catch up with recent recruitment because their blood can have different characteristics which can make it important in certain situations.

“It’s more likely that we can use men’s blood to stop bleeding after injury or surgery.

"A recent study has shown that fewer men are scared of donating blood than women, so I would appeal to them to step up and be part of an already amazing group of people who have kept their resolution to give blood.”

There are more than 34,000 active blood donors in Greater Manchester. More than 16,000 of these currently give blood at the two donor centre sites in Manchester.

Giving blood is quick and easy and one donation can save or improve the lives of three people desperately in need of a blood transfusion.

Mike Stredder added: “Across England, 830,000 people gave blood in 2018.

"This year, we are asking residents in Greater Manchester make a resolution that makes you feel amazing and saves lives.

“We know lots of people often make a new year’s resolution to give blood, but many don’t keep it.

"We need those who have taken the first step and registered to give blood to keep that resolution and make an appointment to donate at either of our Manchester Donor Centres.

"There are blood donation sessions held across the area regularly, but the donor centre is likely to have more appointments available in the mornings, evenings and at weekends.”

More than 200,000 new donors are needed to give blood every year in England to replace those who can no longer donate regularly due to factors like ill health, foreign travel or pregnancy.

It is quick and easy to make, view and change appointments by calling 0300 123 23 23, going online at or using the GiveBlood app.