Alex Person and Joel McCafferty watch on as Mia Yore donates blood.
Alex Person and Joel McCafferty watch on as Mia Yore donates blood. The Northern Star

Spare a pint for the blood bank?

YESTERDAY, Mia Yore received a phone call from her two Southern Cross University mates in Lismore asking if she wanted to join them - not to drink a few pints, but to give a few.

Ms Yore joined regular blood donors Joel McCafferty and Alex Pearson at the Lismore Blood Bank, opposite Lismore Base Hospital.

"I had always wanted to give blood, but there always seemed to be something that stopped me," she said.

Nothing stopped her yesterday, and her pint was even more valuable, with health authorities in NSW sending out a warning they had just half the back-up supplies of critical blood types needed.

NSW chief health officer Professor Jim Bishop urged 'community-minded' people to give blood this weekend in order to address a shortage of the universally-used group-O blood.

"In NSW we currently have around five days' supply of the crucial O-group blood. Ideally we want 10 days' supply," he said.

While it is important for hospitals to have access to all different types of blood, those in the group-O category are deemed the most critical because it can be used in the widest number of emergency cases. Blood type O-negative is universally compatible with all other blood types.

Prof Bishop said new blood donors were needed to ensure hospitals and clinics across the State had enough blood, and blood products, to help people in need.

"The supply of blood is always a very limited and precious resource," Prof Bishop said.

"The national stores of blood could be replenished very quickly with the assistance of more blood donors over the weekend," he said.

Lismore Blood Bank nurse John Roberts urged Lismore residents to give blood this weekend.

"We aren't open every Saturday, so people should take advantage of it and give blood on their long weekend," he said.

To make an appointment to give blood call 13 14 95, or visit www.donateblood.com.au

Can you give blood?

Most people are able to give blood if they are:

  • Fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation.
  • Aged between 16 and 70 (in some states 16 and 17-year-olds require parental/guardian consent).
  • Weigh more than 45kg (16 and 17-year-olds need to weigh more than 50kg).
  • Have eaten and drunk 3-4 glasses of water/juice before giving blood.


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