Australian Red Cross Lifeblood issues urgent call for blood donors

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood issues urgent call for blood donors

An urgent appeal has been issued for thousands of extra Aussies to donate blood, with only two days supply left of the most common types.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood says it needs an additional 16,000 people to donate blood or plasma across the country over the next two weeks.

The organisation said all blood and plasma types were needed, but the supplies of O+ and A+ had dropped to critical levels, with only two days supply left, meaning the stocks of Australia’s two most common blood types are under real pressure.

About 71 per cent of Australians have an O+ or A+ blood type.

Lifeblood said fewer donors were making appointments as the nation continued to reopen, and 1200 donors had cancelled or not turned up to their donations every day.

Lifeblood executive director Cath Stone said 31,000 donations were needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and in other situations.

“As restrictions across the nation continue to ease, it’s essential that blood and plasma donations continue,” Ms Stone said.

“We saw the absolute best of the community throughout the pandemic, with donors continuing to come in; however, this recent trend of decreasing appointments and increasing cancellations is concerning.

“The need for blood and blood products never stops, so we urge those who can to make a blood or plasma donation part of their ‘new normal’.”

Ms Stone said the donor centres were safe to visit, had strict social distancing, cleaning and donor eligibility measures still in place.

“Only healthy people are eligible to give blood, and we have introduced even more stringent wellness checks prior to appointments, including temperature checking,” she said.

New and existing donors should visit, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app to book a blood or plasma donation appointment.