‘Blood Blitz’ launched to curb Christmas and New Year shortage

Australia needs more than 1,800 people a day to donate blood in the next two weeks to prevent a shortage of blood products needed by patients this festive season. Queensland will need a steady 300 donors per day to meet demand through to January 1.

People with O and A blood groups are being asked to urgently book a donation.

Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Services, Cath Stone urged Australians to prioritise the gift of life this Christmas and New Year period.

“The festive season is a challenging time for blood supplies because the need for blood doesn’t stop over the holiday period, however fewer people are available to donate. We know that every 18 seconds this Christmas someone somewhere in Australia will rely on blood whether that is for serious accidents, surgery, complicated births, or cancer treatment.

“We are urging 1,800 Australians a day to roll up their sleeves and donate to ensure those patients have access to the blood and blood products they need. More than 80 per cent of the population has an O or A blood group meaning these blood types are most in demand by hospitals.”

For the second year running, some donor centres across Australia will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day to collect donations.

Ms Stone said: “We know many regular donors may take the opportunity to travel this festive season, which is why we’re urging people to make donating blood a priority”.

“A particular part of our blood, called platelets, only lasts for seven days. Platelets are a vital clotting agent used in emergencies and cancer treatment, and it takes four donors to make just one bag of platelets. We, therefore, need to ensure that people donate blood right through the holiday period.

“Donating blood takes about an hour, but it’s a gift that will make a real difference to a patient’s life,” Ms Stone said.

To book a donation and check which donor centres are open over the holiday season, call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au, or download the free Donate Blood app.

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