Urgent call for type O blood donors

Urgent call for type O blood donors

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is appealing to anyone with Type O blood to book a donation in the next two weeks as its own stocks of both blood types reach their lowest point in a year.

An extra 500 blood donations of O positive and O negative blood are needed every single day over the next fortnight to boost supplies for patients in need.

Lifeblood Executive Director, Strategy and Growth, Stuart Chesneau said demand for both O blood types was continuing to increase, despite more people donating than ever before. 

“This year we’ve seen demand increase by more than 3 per cent, making it the highest in a decade, and we expect it to continue to grow in the coming years.

“To ensure we continue to meet the needs of patients across the country, we need everyone who is eligible – more than 13 million people – to become blood and plasma donors. 

“We also need our existing donors to donate more often. If they could give just one more donation each year it would make a huge difference, especially to lives of those who receive it.”

Stuart said O positive and O negative were the blood types most frequently ordered by hospitals.

“These two blood types are essential: O Negative is 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 to treat trauma patients who can require huge quantities of blood in a short amount of time.

“Fewer than seven per cent of the Australian population is O Negative, making it one of the rarer blood types, however its versatility means it makes up 16 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals.

“O Positive, meanwhile, is the most common blood type in the community, with 40 per cent of people having this blood type, meaning it’s the type most needed by patients should they require a blood transfusion.”

“Around 50 per cent of people in Australia have type O blood, so if you have one of these blood types there’s a good chance someone in your family will too. We’re asking people to talk to their family members and encourage them to donate,” Stuart said.

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