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Blood donor age limit removed

In a move to create 15,000 more blood donations a year, donors will now be able to continue donating after past the age of 70.

The age limit for new donors will remain at 65, but existing donors who have given blood in the past two years can continue after their 70th birthday.

Lynda Hamlyn, Chief Executive of NHS Blood and Transplant, said improved fitness and health among older donors had led to the change.

She said: "Our older donors are amongst our most loyal and many want to keep giving beyond their 70th birthday.

"We continually review our donor criteria and given the steady improvement we have seen over recent years in the general fitness of our older donors, it is now safe for us to remove our upper age limit for donation.

Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern, said that many older blood donors would welcome the news that their age will no longer prevent them from donating blood.

He added: "The change to National Blood Service rules is a great example of how breaking down age barriers brings huge benefits, not only to older people, but society in general."

Copyright © Press Association 2008

The National Blood Service

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