Give to the blood blitz, save a life
ROLL up your sleeves to give some precious blood or plasma and you could be giving a lifesaving gift this festive season.
The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood announced on Tuesday morning it needs more than 2,000 additional blood and plasma donations in Queensland and Northern NSW between Christmas and the New Year to avoid lifesaving blood stocks running low.
And 150 blood and plasma donors are needed urgently in Lismore.
You could be giving the gift of life to those involved in road accidents, undergoing surgery, and women experiencing complications during childbirth, all of whom will be relying on blood donations to help them make it through.
With many donors expected to travel and back-to-back long weekends coming up, Lifeblood is calling on people to factor a blood donation into their plans this festive season.
Despite donors responding to a call out in record numbers last month, the need for short-lived platelets is constant.
“It can be a challenging time for blood supplies – as the need for blood doesn’t stop over the holiday period,” Lifeblood spokeswoman Belinda Smetioukh said.
“Platelets only last for five days so we’re unable to stockpile them ahead of long weekends or busy periods.”
Ms Smetioukh said an additional challenge is it takes blood donations from four people to make one dose of platelets used to help cancer patients recover from their intensive treatments.
“Timing is critical and the period between December 26 and January 2 is when platelet stocks are most under pressure,” Ms Smetioukh said.
“Donating blood or plasma is one of the most powerful gifts you can give. For some it may give them more time with loved ones or improve their quality of life; for others, it could quite literally save their life.”
Many donor centres around the nation will be open between Christmas and the New Year.
To check opening hours or to book a donation visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.