The social media team behind the NHS’ Give Blood campaign have published a popular Twitter thread educating people on the need for more black blood donors.
The NHS account @GiveBloodNHS often receives criticism from a number of ill informed Twitter users who’ve accused their campaigns of being ‘racist’.
@GiveBloodNHS regularly encourages black people in particular to donate due to a shortage in the type of blood required for patients with sickle cell disease.
The social media team began the Twitter thread by asking followers: “So, people keep asking – why do we need more black blood donors?”
Then, in a series of further tweets, they went on to explain the need for black blood donation.
They pointed out that although blood does the same thing for everyone’s body, everyone’s blood is not the same.
First up – blood does the same thing for everyone’s body – it keeps you alive and saves lives. ISSA FACT! pic.twitter.com/ZStlKU7Oeh
— GiveBlood NHS 💉 (@GiveBloodNHS) November 7, 2017
“Blood can have more than 30 different types or blood groups. You’ve all heard of ABO, right? That’s one blood group,” they added.
“And you’ve heard of people being ‘positive’ or ‘negative’? That’s another blood group.”
“Blood groups are more or less common in different ethnic groups. So black people are more likely to have, say, B negative blood.
“It’s not to say white or Asian people can’t be B negative, or that all black people are B negative.
“It just means people from the same ethnic background are more likely to have the same blood groups.”
Numerous scientific studies have found that black people are more likely to have the rare Ro blood subtype that is used to manage sickle cell disease. With only one in 50 people having this blood type, the NHS often runs campaigns to encourage more black people to donate.
Sickle cell disease is a life-threatening genetic condition which is more likely to affect black people than those of other ethnicities.
Thousands of Twitter users leapt to the NHS’ defence following the thread, thanking the team for raising awareness of sickle cell disease and standing up to criticism.
Praise came from everyone from existing black donors and those with sickle cell disease to fellow NHS workers and digital marketers in awe of @GiveBloodNHS’ social media skills.
— Saadiya✌ (@saadiyayu) November 7, 2017
Whether there’s an individual or a team behind this thread, you have earned my utmost respect for it. #GiveBlood
— Paul (@MPCmonkey) November 7, 2017
This thread is amaze and done perfectly 😍 I’m O- & have worked in a transfusion lab so understand the importance. It really does save lives. https://t.co/WmLugGtqyq
— Hayley 🙂 (@sassypants812) November 7, 2017
— _blackbeauty23_ (@Aunisty_Swayne) November 7, 2017