Aussies are being urged to roll up their sleeves and donate blood this festive season, with more than 7,500 donations needed between Christmas and New Year.
With many donors off on holidays, Lifeblood is concerned that without more donors between 21 December and 2 January life-giving blood stocks may run low.
“The time between Christmas and New Year is when many regular donors take a well-earned break, yet the need for blood never stops,” Lifeblood spokesperson Helen Walsh said.
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A blood blitz has now been launched in a bid to encourage people to make an appointment and donate over the holidays.
“It takes blood donations from four people to make just one bag of platelets for patients, and they only last for five days so we can’t stockpile them ahead of the holidays,” Ms Walsh said.
“Timing is critical, and the period between 21 December and 2 January is when platelet stocks are most at risk with blood donors constantly needed to ensure patients get this vital product.”
One blood product vital to cancer treatment is platelets, which are made from blood donations and have a shelf-life of just five days.
Platelets are the clotting agent of blood and also help combat life-threatening bleeding from road trauma and in other emergency situations.
“We need a new donor every five minutes to meet Australia’s growing blood needs so there’s never been a better time to donate,” Ms Walsh said.
“One in three Australians will need blood or a blood product in their lifetime; you could save a life this festive season.”
Donor centres around the country will be open this festive season, including some on Boxing Day.
For more information or to book your donation, visit lifeblood.com.au or call 13 14 95.