Blood Alert: New system allows people to track blood supplies as 6,500 donors needed this week

Blood Alert: New system allows people to track blood supplies as 6,500 donors needed this week

In an Australian-first, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s blood supply levels are now available to view in real-time in the hope it will encourage more people to donate more often.

Research by the nation’s blood service found that 75% of Australians say they would donate blood if they knew their blood type was needed.

Launching to coincide with National Blood Donor Week, the Lifeblood Blood Supply Update, which is updated daily, displays blood supply levels for each blood type. You can sort Australia-wide or by state.

Over 6,500 donations of blood and plasma are still needed in the next week alone to meet demand.

The Lifeblood Blood Supply Update represents the number of bags (units) of donated red blood cells of that blood type that Lifeblood holds after supplying hospitals. 

“We hope that by having up-to-date information about how much blood is held by Lifeblood, it will motivate more people to come in and donate, especially when their blood type is needed or running low,” Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Experience, Cath Stone said.

At all times, Lifeblood needs to keep enough red cell units stocked and ready to meet expected demand. These levels go up and down based on how many units of each blood type is sent to hospitals and how many donors of that type have given blood recently.

Blood types marked ‘very low’ means we need you to book a donation now; ‘low’ means more donors are needed; ‘need more’ means Lifeblood needs people to donate in the next five days; ‘Ok’ means that blood donations are still needed of that blood type; and ‘good’ means you should consider donating plasma if you can, or give blood to keep supplies at a good level.

May through to September are the months when blood supply levels are most likely to drop to ‘very low’.

“We’d love to see people keeping a regular eye on our blood supplies and making an appointment when their blood type is needed, especially during the colder months,” Cath said.

Lifeblood research reveals that two in five Australians don’t know their blood type or are unsure of which blood type they have.

“If you don’t know your blood type, donating blood is a great way to find out. Please make an appointment, because no matter what blood type you are, every donation you give can save up to three lives,” Cath added.

A blood donation is needed every 18 seconds in Australia for cancer patients, people living with blood disorders, for surgery, and women giving birth.

While the Lifeblood Blood Supply Update only displays red cell levels, Lifeblood also needs plasma and platelet donations of all types every day.

You can book a donation now by calling 13 14 95 or book online at or on the DonateBlood app.

Keep an eye on Lifeblood’s blood supplies by visiting: Lifeblood Blood Supply Update.

Everyone who donates during National Blood Donor Week and until July 14 will receive a limited-edition bandage designed by Indigenous Australian artist Aretha Brown.