Urgent call for donors as floods and sickness hit supplies

Urgent call for donors as floods and sickness hit supplies

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has issued an urgent national call for donors, with New South Wales being especially hard hit.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has issued an urgent national call for donors, with New South Wales being especially hard hit.

Floods, road closures, cold and flu, and COVID are keeping many donors at home, reducing Lifeblood’s reserves of platelets to stock hospitals. Platelets are the part of blood used to stop bleeding in accidents, emergencies, and chemotherapy.  

Lifeblood’s whole blood supplies nationally are also under pressure.

Spokesperson Cath Stone said donors who are fit and well, and safely able to get to a donor centre, are needed now.

Number of donors needed from 12 – 19 July 2022

Nationally 5500
ACT 100
NSW 1600
NT 50
QLD 1000
SA 400
TAS 200
VIC 1500
WA 600

“Many Sydneysiders and those on the north and south coasts of New South Wales have been impacted by devastating flood events and the inability to leave home to donate blood or prioritise this right now is understandable,” she said.

“In addition, colds, flu, and COVID are continuing to sideline donors, with one in two appointments not being attended. Disruptions to public transport and school holidays could also be keeping donors away.

“As a national organisation, we need others around the country to step up and ensure patients continue to receive the blood and blood products they need.

“As part of Australia’s national blood arrangements, we are currently transporting platelets from Queensland and Victoria to ensure NSW hospitals have enough supply for patients. We urgently need an additional 5,500 blood donations this week to keep hospitals across Australia well stocked.”

Lifeblood said 33,000 donations are needed every week to support patients, around one third of them usually collected from NSW donor centres.

“Platelets only last seven days and can’t be stockpiled. Right now, demand for platelets in NSW is the highest it’s been in 15 months due to increased activity in hospitals.”

Lifeblood needs all blood types but is especially keen to hear from O negative donors – the universal blood type used in emergencies.
    
“We need an additional 700 O negative blood donations over the next week to meet demand,” Ms Stone said.

“If you are O negative, someone in your family could be too, so please to talk to your family and encourage them to donate.”

To book a donation, you can book online, download the Donate Blood app or call 13 14 95.

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