Easter call for blood donations

O Negative blood donor Shane Middleton has made 87 donations, visiting the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Coffs Harbour Donor Centre regularly to donate both blood and plasma.

PRESENTING his vein at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Coffs Harbour Donor Centre for the 87th time, Shane Middleton is warmly welcomed for his O Negative blood, a blood type that is particularly in demand.

With Easter around the corner, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is making a twin appeal for blood and plasma donors to boost supplies now, to boost supplies to cater for the expected demand.

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Right now, Lifeblood needs 3,600 people to donate blood over the next week, in particular people who are A, B and O Positive and universal O Negative.

Lifeblood is also asking people to book a donation between Good Friday and Easter Monday to ensure an ongoing supply of blood and plasma for patients who will need it during the long weekend.

Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone said that despite record numbers of people donating blood and plasma, demand from hospitals is at its highest level in nearly a decade.

“We now have more donors than at any point in the past ten years, however demand for all blood groups, especially O Negative, continues to increase as hospitals catch up on surgeries post-pandemic.”

She said donors of all blood types were needed every day of the year, but that the blood groups being called for today make up about 90 percent of the Australian population.

“Right now, we need 3,600 people to donate blood over the next week.

“In particular, O Negative has the universal blood type and is used to treat patients when their blood type 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.

“Fewer than seven percent of the Australian population is O Negative, making it one of the rarer blood types, however its versatility means it makes up sixteen percent of the blood ordered by hospitals,” she added.

Ms Stone said Lifeblood was also asking people to book a donation now for the Easter period, which is often one of the most challenging times of the year for Lifeblood.

“The need for blood is often unplanned and urgent and Easter is often a time when many of our donors take a break.

“This year, more than 40 of our donor centres around the country will be open on Good Friday so we are asking people to book in and come back for another donation when they are next eligible, to ensure we can keep hospital fridges well stocked.

“With one in three of us needing donated blood or blood products in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of a friend or family member,” she said.

To book visit lifeblood.com.au, download the Donate Blood app or call 13 14 95.


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