LOUISE Yeo knows first-hand the importance of donating blood.
Twice the Monaltrie resident has been a blood receiver and five times she has been a donor.
The first time Ms Yeo needed blood was after a miscarriage. The second, she had broken her neck and required a seven-hour operation.
"I always wanted to give blood, I just never got around to it," she said. "Then I needed blood myself.
"I see the seriousness of it more so now."
Ms Yeo's blood type is O positive.
BLOOD TYPES: HOW common is yours?
- 40% are O+
- 31% are A+
- 9% are O-
- 8% are B+
- 7% are A-
- 2% are B-
- 2% are AB+
- 1% are AB-
It's the most common blood type in Australia and with less than three days' supply, it's one the Red Cross Blood Service sorely needs.
Levels are currently at their lowest in two years because of a donor cancellations and a recent spike in blood demand.
Up to 1000 donors a week have had to cancel their appointments due to cold and flu symptoms.
Donations from Lismore resident Nikki Redinger, whose blood type is O negative, are also desperately needed.
O negative is the only universal blood type that can be given to anybody in an emergency and the Blood Service currently has less than two days' supply.
For a long time Ms Redinger thought she wouldn't be able to donate, having received a blood transfusion in 2010.
"I just decided one day that I would call up and ask if I could (donate) and they said yes and here I am," she said.
"Whether you're a first (time) donator or you've come back a second, third, tenth time, it's half and hour out of your day every three months. There's no reason you shouldn't do it."
Ms Redinger said being the recipient of a blood transfusion made her realise how important her donation was.
"I've needed it and I could need it again," she said.
Who can give blood?
Anyone who is fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation.
Anyone aged 16 to 70 years who weighs more than 45kg.
When shouldn't you give blood?
- If you have a cold or the flu,
- If you've just had dental work done,
- If you've travelled overseas recent,
- If you are pregnant,
- If you've just gotten a tattoos,
- If you have had certain illnesses,
- If you've recently had an operation
- If you are on some types of antibiotics