Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has issued an urgent plea for blood donations with the flu and COVID drastically impacting supplies.
The service needs 17,500 donations nationwide over the next week with a growing number of people cancelling their appointments or simply not showing up.
It particularly needs to boost supplies of A, O and B blood types.
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“We know people are sick with cold and flu. We know people’s children are unwell and keeping donors at home. And we know many people are still having to isolate due to COVID. We also know that these circumstances are causing large numbers of appointment cancellations and no-shows,” Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone said.
“We are pleading with anyone who is well and healthy to book a donation today and encourage your friends and family to do the same.”
The service needs 4000 donations in Queensland alone and 4500 in New South Wales.
While it has more than 15,000 appointments this week, the service expects to see around half of those cancelled.
“There are patients in hospital right now who are relying on blood for cancer treatment, surgery, accidents and complicated births. If you don’t know your blood type, donating is a great way to find out. Every blood donation can help to save up to three lives,” Ms Stone said.
Bookings can be made online at lifeblood.com.au, on the DonateBlood app or by calling 13 14 95.