Blood donors urgently needed as flooding hits supplies
Blood donors are urgently needed across Australia as the impact of flooding and road closures in Queensland and northern New South Wales resulted in a shortfall of 3,000 donations – the equivalent of an entire Saturday’s supply – with further impacts expected throughout this week.
Seven donor centres along with our mobile units across Queensland have been impacted by the floods, with Lismore Donor Centre in New South Wales remaining closed for an extended period due to flood damage. Flooding, challenges with staff and donors unable to reach centres and mobiles, and road closures have all contributed to reduced collections
Cath Stone, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s Executive Director for Donor Services, said: “In addition, we have seen a high number of donors understandably unable to get to their appointments as they focus on their families and homes or follow stay-at-home and evacuation orders.
"In Sydney, where a fifth of the country’s blood supply is collected, hundreds of blood donors have been unable to donate, with many impacted by evacuation orders and disruptions to public transport at major blood collection centres such as Town Hall, Chatswood, and Parramatta."
She said additional blood supplies were pre-emptively sent to hospitals in affected areas to counter any possible impact on blood delivery services with further stocks being sent from unaffected states.
“We have reopened all our donor centres in Queensland, but with many roads and donors still cut off, and blood being a critical resource, we are calling on donors in other parts of the country to roll up their sleeves and help make up the shortfall of the past week.
“People out there may be thinking, 'How can I help?’ Donating blood ensures that patients in these communities get the medical treatment they need.
“Some donor centres in flood-affected areas might be impacted so head to the Lifeblood website to find your nearest donor centre, check your eligibility, and book a donation.”
Lifeblood is continuing to monitor the situation in Queensland and New South Wales, prioritising the safety of donors and staff while working to get donor services back up and running.
Lifeblood’s thoughts are with everyone affected by the flooding.