9,000 blood donors urged to give life this Christmas

9,000 blood donors urged to give life this Christmas

With consecutive long weekends coming up, and half of all blood donation appointments still not being attended, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is calling for an additional 9,000 people to roll up their sleeves this festive season.

“Christmas can be a challenging time for Lifeblood, as some of our regular donors take time out to celebrate and catch up with family and friends,” Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Services, Cath Stone said.

“This year we are anticipating many of our regular donors will take the opportunity to travel now that much of the country and our international borders have reopened.”

Lifeblood said 9,000 donors were needed between Boxing Day and January 3 to ensure patients receive the blood and blood products they need over the festive season, with appointments to be filled right across the country.

State breakdown of additional donors needed:

ACT 320 SA 500
NSW 2700 TAS 240
NT 125 VIC 2000
QLD 2200 WA 900

In recent weeks, appointment “no shows” have reached a record high with one in two not being attended.

“We’re urging people to make blood donation a priority. The need for blood never stops and there are people in hospital right now relying on donated blood for serious accidents, surgery, complicated births and cancer treatment,” she said.

There is no substitute for blood which is needed somewhere in Australia every 18 seconds.

“A particular part of our blood, called platelets, only lasts for seven days. Platelets are a vital clotting agent used in emergencies and cancer treatment, and it takes four donors to make just one bag, so we need a constant supply.

“Donating blood only takes an hour of your time, but for a patient, it’s life-changing. That change may be a second chance, the key to a fuller life, or perhaps, it’s more time with family and friends.

“Lifeblood’s message is this: ‘This Christmas don’t just give something. Give everything.’ Donate blood and you can help to save up to three lives.”

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