Desperate plea for 'critical' blood donors
WITH the coronavirus pandemic expected to hit blood stocks hard, the Australian Red Cross blood service has made an impassioned plea for new donors.
As COVID-19 cases mount in Australia, and with the annual flu season imminent, blood supplies are expected to be under extreme pressure as existing donors fall ill and are unable to give blood.
Temporary fast-tracking of elective surgeries in Queensland is also expected to put blood supplies under increased demand.Lifeblood chief executive Shelly Park said last minute cancellations were putting a dent in the nation's blood supply, at a time when donors were in urgent need.
"It is a critical resource, and right now, we need more people booking appointments to donate," Ms Park said.
"Blood is needed every day by Australian patients including road trauma patients, surgical patients, medical and orthopaedic patients, pregnant Mums and cancer patients.
"To ensure there is a sufficient blood supply, we are appealing to donors to keep their appointments if well and healthy and are inviting new donors or those who haven't donated for a while to come forward to help us."
Australia has about 500,000 blood donors but Lifeblood desperately wants to build on that number.
"Every week across Australia, we need to collect around 29,000 blood and plasma donations," Ms Park said.
"Right now, we have 14,000 appointments that need to be filled over the next few weeks as we work to continue providing life-saving blood and blood products to Australian patients as we head into the busy Easter period.
"It only takes an hour to give blood, but could be the life-changing gift to help someone celebrate next Easter at home with their loved ones. Our donor centres are safe places to visit and we will take all necessary steps to ensure that stays the case."
To make an appointment, visit lifeblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.