MEN in Oxfordshire are being urged to make becoming a blood donor their New Year’s resolution for 2019.

The number of women in the area stepping forward to donate blood last year almost outnumbered the men by three to one, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.

While donors of both genders are encouraged to become blood donors, a specific plea has now gone out to men in the area since their blood is often more suitable for creating blood products used to treat patients.

NHS Blood and Transplant has been analysing donor recruitment trends and is now working on reaching more potential male donors.

The organisation has suggested that a greater use of social media campaigns, which are more popular with women, could be one reason why women far outnumbered men in blood donations last year.

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 to treat patients with cancer.

“We’re incredibly grateful to all our female donors in Oxford 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.”

Research conducted by Strava, the social network for athletes, shows that by the second week in January, most people have broken their new year’s resolutions, but NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people, and especially men, to follow through on their commitment and give blood this year.

Figures for show that 223 women in Oxfordshire who registered in January last year became blood donors, compared to only 76 men.

Men’s blood can contain fewer antibodies against red and white blood cells because women often make these antibodies during pregnancy.

If too many antibodies are present in the blood, it can present adverse reactions in vulnerable patients, so using blood from men is often preferred as they have fewer antibodies.

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

He added: “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 13,500 active blood donors in Oxfordshire and almost 5,000 of these currently give blood at Oxford donor centre.

The process is quick and easy and just 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 Oxfordshire to 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 Oxford Donor Centre.

“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 across England to replace those who can no longer donate regularly due to things like ill health, foreign travel or pregnancy.

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