The Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Lismore.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Critical threat to blood supply

DONORS are desperately needed to give blood this Easter long-weekend to avoid a national shortage.

Just days out from the Easter long-weekend, 1000 appointments still need to be filled across the country - mainly on Easter Monday - to ensure Australia has enough blood to help patients across and immediately after the long-weekend.

Long weekends are a challenging time for the Blood Service because many Australians take a break - even though the need for blood does not.

Cancer patients, road trauma victims, women giving birth, and people with blood disorders will still rely on blood donations to help them through this Easter weekend.

Blood Service spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said the need for blood was constant.

"The need for blood doesn't stop to go on holiday; there are people in hospitals that are relying on blood donations so they can enjoy Easter with their family,” he said.

"To ensure we have enough blood for patients in hospitals, we need an additional 1000 people to call up this week and make an appointment to give blood across the long-weekend, with a specific focus on Easter Monday, which has 700 appointments left to fill.”

Mr Inguanzo said stocks of platelets, a short-lived blood component, were most under threat from the long-weekend.

"Platelets are used to stop bleeding, and are critical to the treatment of cancer patients. But platelets only have a shelf-life of five days, meaning we need fresh collections every day, regardless of holidays.”

To give blood on this Easter long-weekend, please call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au



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