Red Cross Calls for Blood and Plasma Donors

Ruth Harrison at a Red Cross stand last week at Coffs Harbour Education Campus.

 

COVID-19 saw an increase in blood and plasma availability as elective surgeries were postponed but now with elective surgeries back in full swing there is a seven percent increase in demand for more blood and plasma donors.

There has also been a decline in donors and the combination of is driving the red cross to urgently call for more donors in the next few weeks to keep up with demand.

Ruth Harrison, Group Account Manager of Red Cross Regional Partnerships said, “In Coffs, we are urgently looking for 170 additional donors over the next few weeks.”

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According to Ms Harrison the Coffs Harbour City Council just took out the top donor team for Coffs Harbour 2020, with 174 donations for the year – a 64% increase in donations from 2019.

“They are hoping to top 200 donations this year.” she said, which will be a boost for the region.

The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood appeal has been issued immediately for 22,000 extra people to donate blood or plasma in the next fortnight.

All blood and plasma types are needed, but in particular O-, A-, A+ and B- blood types are all running low.

Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone said elective surgery is driving the increase, as busy hospitals tackle a pandemic-driven backlog, alongside declining donor numbers.

“Hospital demand is up 7 per cent compared to this time last year and we have around 10,000 fewer people donating now than we saw at the peak of the pandemic,” Ms Stone said.

“We need more donors to roll up their sleeves to ensure fridges are well stocked.

“We have 22,000 extra appointments to fill during the next two weeks.

“Even if you don’t know what blood type you have, we still need you – we need all blood types every day,” Ms Stone said.

“31,000 donations are needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations,” she said.

“As we continue to ride the wave of changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that blood and plasma donations continue.”

New and existing donors are welcome.

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

 

By Sandra MOON

 

Karen Myhill and Elizabeth Marcus, donor centre nurses at Coffs Donor Centre.

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