The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is looking at a potential blood shortage within two weeks, if it can’t get 10,383 people to come and donate.
Both blood and plasma levels are nearing dangerously low levels, with appointment numbers also down.
Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park says 31,000 donations are needed around the country every week, and they’re just not getting it at the moment.
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“To meet the needs of Australian patients, we really need 10,383 additional people to donate over the next two weeks,” she said.
“Despite dramatic changes to the everyday lives of Australians since March, we’ve seen people continue to generously donate blood and plasma.
“But over the past three months, we have seen the number of people cancelling or not turning up for their appointments increase nationally by around 5000.
“And looking ahead, we can see a drop in appointment numbers over the coming weeks – that’s why we’re asking new and existing donors to step up and fill those 10,300 appointments to ensure there is a sufficient supply of blood and plasma,” Ms Park said.
During the coronavirus crisis it has been particularly difficult to make sure people continue to donate, but we’re being reminded that donations help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.
Even within lockdown areas, blood donations are considered ‘essential’, and is still allowed. While all donor centres have been made extremely safe to visit.
“Donating blood and plasma is classed as essential care giving and we have worked with all state and territory governments to make sure donors can keep their appointments, even in lockdown,” Ms Park said.
“We want to thank everyone who’s continued to step up and donate during this pandemic.
“However the reality is the need for blood and blood products never stops so we urge all eligible Australians to make blood or plasma donation part of their ‘new normal’,” Ms Park said.
To make an appointment to give blood or plasma, visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.