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Thousands of blood donors needed as demand reaches 10-year high


Thousands of blood donors are needed across Australia to boost supplies as the demand reaches a 10-year high.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood said more than 7000 blood donors are urgently needed over the next fortnight for a “healthy supply.”

“No shows” at donation appointments is part of the reason for the blood shortages.

More than 7000 blood donors are needed over the next fortnight as blood demand reaches a 10 year high
More than 7000 donors are needed over the next fortnight. (Australian Red Cross Lifeblood)

Hospital demand for blood is at its highest point in a decade and authorities are concerned about the blood reserves.

As lockdowns lift across Australia, surgeries resume, and roads become busier, there is an increased need for blood.

There has also been a spike in road trauma where blood products are often needed.

More than 7000 blood donors are needed over the next fortnight as blood demand reaches a 10 year high
No shows at appointments has impacted the supply. (Australian Red Cross Lifeblood)

Executive Director of Donor Services Cath Stone has called for Australians to donate as they are “literally saving lives.”

“Our donors have shown us incredible support over the last two years, however as life moves to COVID-normal, it’s important that people continue to donate to help ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients,” Ms Stone said.

The O Negative blood supplies are particularly affected with the number of donors falling during the pandemic despite the increase in hospital demand.

Blood donors needed with no shows at appointments
O Negative blood is in particular demand. (Australian Red Cross Lifeblood)

O Negative is the universal blood type and can be used during emergencies where there isn’t time to find out the patient’s blood type.

“We currently have 1000 fewer active O Negative donors than we did over a year ago and we would particularly like to welcome those previous donors back to our donor centres,” Ms Stone said.

“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.”

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Lifeblood has asked people to make donation appointments to help replenish blood reserves.



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