Australians are being urged to roll up their sleeves and donate blood for National Blood Donor Week, with almost 14,000 blood donations needed across the country over the next two weeks.
More than half a million people have come forward to donate so far this year, but Lifeblood is still in desperate need of new donors and is appealing for locals to put their hands up.
“To every donor who has given blood, plasma or platelets over the last 12 months, thank you so much for helping us save and change lives,” Lifeblood’s Cath Stone said.
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“From cancer patients to road trauma victims, people with blood disorders to burns victims, 31,000 blood donations are needed every week.
“The beauty of blood donation is it allows ordinary people to be extraordinary lifesavers, even in times of hardship such as bushfires, floods, and pandemics.”
The nationwide blood blitz comes as Facebook and Lifeblood join forces, with the social media giant’s new “blood donations feature” allowing people to sign up to receive notifications about when their blood is needed at their local donor centre.
The feature, which can be found by searching “blood donations” on Facebook, will also allow those aged between 18 and 65 to sign up to receive updates on Facebook about giving blood and invite friends to donate.
Currently, most Aussie donors are aged over 45, which is why Lifeblood is seeking to recruit new blood through Facebook’s blood donation feature to “help secure the next generation of long-term donors and secure the blood supply for the future”.
“We know Facebook is a great way to spread the message about giving blood and for people to encourage others to get involved as well, so we’re excited about the blood donation feature,” Samantha Bartlett, Lifeblood’s Marketing Director said.
“In Australia this means we’re able to let people who have updated their profile know when a blood donor centre nearby needs their help.
“We’re encouraging existing donors, former donors, and people who have considered donating but haven’t gotten around to it yet, to update their status so we can reach them when we need it most.”