Blood supplies ran perilously low during summer as transfusion service feared having to activate a national emergency plan

The supply of some blood types dropped so low this summer that introduction of a national emergency blood management plan was feared, which would have led to widespread cancellation of medical procedures.

Internal records from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) detail how stocks of O negative blood had fallen as low as 2.3 days-worth of supply and had been running below three days for several weeks.

Minutes of an executive management team meeting said that the Covid-19 pandemic had increased reliance on what was described as an “increasingly tired donor panel”.

It suggested that direct donor text messaging needed to be looked at to “better convey the urgency of the situation” according to records released under FOI.

The IBTS ended up importing blood products from the United Kingdom, the first time it had done so since the late 1990s.