The Red Cross Blood Service is urging people with O-Negative blood to make a donation within the next fortnight as its reserves slip to just one day.
An unpredictably longer cold and flu season has impacted the number of regular donors who are available to give O-Negative reserves.
Spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said the Blood Service was calling on 3,000 additional O-Negative donors to come forward and give blood between Monday 4 September and Friday 15 September to help bolster supplies.
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“O-Negative is the universal type given to patients in emergency situations,” he said. “With one in three of us needing donated blood in our lifetime the life you save could be that of a friend or family member.”
Mr Inguanzo said maintaining blood supplies during cold and flu season was a challenge for the Blood Service.
“The number of people suffering cold and flu symptoms greatly impacts the number of regular donors who are able to give,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this season has lasted longer than in previous years, so we need other O-Negative donors to take the place of those who have been unable to give.”
Donors who are affected by cold and flu symptoms are able to give blood at least seven days after making a full recovery.
People wanting to roll up their sleeves and donate can make an appointment online or call 13 14 95.