Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs 10,383 additional people to give blood and plasma over the next two weeks to prevent a potential shortage in blood and plasma stocks.
Appointment numbers are down and all blood and plasma types are needed to make sure stocks remain at a healthy level.
Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park said 31,000 donations are needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.
“To meet the needs of Australian patients, we really need 10,383 additional people to donate over the next two weeks,” she said.
“Despite dramatic changes to the everyday lives of Australians since March, we’ve seen people continue to generously donate blood and plasma.
“But over the past three months, we have seen the number of people cancelling or not turning up for their appointments increase nationally by around 5000.
“And looking ahead, we can see a drop in appointment numbers over the coming weeks – that’s why we’re asking new and existing donors to step up and fill those 10,000 appointments to ensure there is a sufficient supply of blood and plasma.”
As different parts of the country experience lockdowns and restrictions, it’s important to remember blood and plasma donation is essential and allowed.
“Donating blood and plasma is classed as essential care giving and we have worked with all state and territory governments to make sure donors can keep their appointments, even in lockdown.”
Lifeblood donor centres are safe to visit, with strict social distancing, cleaning and donor eligibility measures in place. Only healthy people are eligible to give blood and we have introduced even more stringent wellness checks prior to appointments, including temperature checking.
“We want to thank everyone who’s continued to step up and donate during this pandemic. However, the reality is the need for blood and blood products never stops so we urge all eligible Australians to make blood or plasma donation part of their ‘new normal’,” Ms Park said.
To make an appointment to give blood or plasma, visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.
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