The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is calling on Australians to roll up their sleeves and donate, as blood levels reach their lowest point this year.
Those with the O-negative blood type are in the highest demand, with many unable to donate due to cold and flu symptoms.
Blood Services spokesperson Helen Walsh says the O-negative stores are dangerously low at the moment.
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“With our regular donors still being knocked out by cold and flu, we’ve seen the Blood Service’s own reserves of O Negative dip to less than two days’ supply after maintaining hospital stocks,” Blood Service spokesperson.
“We are urging first time and regular O Negative donors to roll up their sleeves and give blood in order to boost supplies.”
“We need 5,000 O Negative donations over the next two weeks to meet this demand.
“If you are O Negative, someone in your family could be too. We’re asking people to talk to their family and encourage them to donate,” Ms Walsh said.
Only nine percent of the population is O Negative, making it one of the rarer blood types, however its versatility means it makes up 17 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals.
This winter, cold and flu symptoms have contributed to as many as 1,300 donors a day cancelling appointments.
“We need others to step up – in this case people with O Negative blood – to take the place of those who are unable to answer our call,” says Ms Walsh.
“With one in three of us needing donated blood or blood products in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of friend or family member.”
To give blood, call 13 14 95 or book online at www.donateblood.com.au