Australians are being urged to roll up their sleeves ahead of Easter with fears the holiday period will threaten supplies.
Two consecutive long weekends have forced the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood to issue an urgent call for O negative blood donations over the next fortnight.
The amount of emergency supplies has dropped to its lowest level in 12 months.
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Around 12,000 donations are needed Australia wide over the next fortnight including 2,100 donations in Queensland and 4,100 in New South Wales.
“The need for blood is often unplanned and urgent. This time of year is when many of our donors take a well-deserved break, but the next two weeks are shaping up to be particularly difficult with back-to-back long weekends for Easter and ANZAC Day,” Lifeblood’s Executive Director of Donor Services Cath Stone said.
“We urgently need 4,500 people of all blood types to book a donation before Easter Monday, and a further 7,500 through to ANZAC Day, and we need them to come back for a second donation when they are next eligible, to ensure we can keep hospital fridges well stocked.”
Fewer than 7 per cent of the population have O negative blood type but it makes up 15 per cent of all hospital orders.
“This rare blood type is in high demand because it can be given in emergency situations where a patient’s blood group is unknown.
“It’s often stocked in ambulances and rescue helicopters to be used for trauma patients who can require huge quantities in a short amount of time.”
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood will open 40 centres across the country on Good Friday to allow people with all blood types to donate.
For more visit lifeblood.com.au, or call 13 14 95.