Blood Donors urged to roll up their sleeves before Melbourne Cup

You wouldn’t immediately think that the Melbourne Cup would cause a drop in blood donations around the country, but that’s exactly what the Australian Red Cross Blood Service are worried about this spring racing season.

The race that stops the nation, has also caused regular donors from all over the country to cancel their appointments, leaving the blood service short 1,500 appointments.

Historically, a drop in appointments has coincided with the Melbourne cup, and not just at donation centres in Victoria.


Cath Stone, Blood Service Executive Director of Donor Services, said while punters are concerned with racing odds, the odds that someone needing blood in the lifetime were much higher.

“One in three Australians will need blood or a blood product in their lifetime, yet only one in 30 donates.

“The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation, but it shouldn’t be the race that stops blood donation.

“While many people enjoy the race, there are patients right across Australia who won’t get to take time off from their treatment and will continue to need lifesaving blood products. That’s why every donation over the next week is so important,” said Ms Stone.

The Blood Service is also hoping to gain 20,000 new donors by Christmas to deal with our growing and diversifying population’s blood needs.

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