WITH the five day weekend that many Northern Rivers residents take during the Christmas season, The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is concerned that blood stocks may run dry.

To help combat the possibility of low blood stocks over the holiday, The Blood Service are running a Blood Blitz in the lead-up to Christmas to raise awareness of the critical need for blood this festive season.

Spokesperson Lee Harley said that platelets were vital to the treatment of cancer patients but only had a shelf life of five days.

"This means anything collected ion the Friday before the Christmas long weekend will either expire of be depleted by Boxing Day," she said.

She congratulated groups like the Stella Network, Lismore's women in business network, who were down at the Lismore Blood Donor centre this morning to give the gift of life this festive season and to promote the Blood Blitz.

"As a community we need have the responsibility to make sure that blood is there when we need it, and that's what they're doing."

"Every donation helps to save as many as three lives, and Christmas is the perfect time to give back to the community."

"The need for blood doesn't go on holiday."

Ms Harley said 27,000 blood donations are need across Australia on any given week, and that during the Christmas period, from approximately Christmas Eve until January 2, the blood service need to collect 250 blood donations to help meet demand.

Currently, they're only halfway there.

To make an appointment call 131495 or visit the website

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