Make a resolution to donate blood in 2016

THE Australian Blood Service has launched a year-long campaign to attract an additional 115,000 new blood donors during 2016.

The service said they need to bolster its donor ranks now to help combat seasonal donor shortages around long-weekends and cold and flu outbreaks throughout the year.

An estimated 9 million Australians are eligible to give blood but only 500,000 actively do so leading the Blood Service to reach out to those who have never donated before.

Blood Service spokesperson Erin Lagoudakis said it was time for the remaining 8.5 million Aussies to help out.

"Blood donation has been a proud Australian tradition for 87 years and was born out of a need for lifesaving transfusions," Ms Lagoudakis said.

"The delivery of blood was time critical, and despite many advances that is still the case today, with some critical components unable to be stored longer than one week.

"Because there are times when donor numbers are traditionally low, such as long-weekends and cold and flu outbreaks, we need additional donors to come on board between now and the end of the year to continue helping the one in three Australians who will need donated blood in their lifetime."

Ms Lagoudakis said common tragedies such as cancer diagnoses, road trauma and blood loss during childbirth were among the regular uses of blood.

"To ensure blood is there when you or a love one needs it, we need more people to sign-up as blood donors.

"If more people give blood, then it's more likely to be there when you or a loved one needs it later."

To Bleed for Australia in 2016, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au



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