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Urgent appeal for more blood donors

Paul McCarthy has been a big supporter of the Australian Red Cross.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has today issued an urgent appeal for 210 additional Bundaberg residents to give blood or plasma during the next two weeks.

All blood and plasma types are needed, but in particular, Lifeblood’s supplies of O+ and A+ blood have now dropped to two days’ supply, meaning stocks of Australia’s two most common blood types are under real pressure.

As the nation continues to reopen, Lifeblood is seeing fewer donors making appointments and 1,200 donors cancelling or not turning up to their donations every day.

Lifeblood spokesperson Belinda Smetioukh said 31,000 donations are needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.

“As restrictions across the nation continue to ease, it’s essential that blood and plasma donations continue,” Ms Smetioukh said.

“We saw the absolute best of the community throughout the pandemic with donors continuing to come in, however, this recent trend of decreasing appointments and increasing cancellations is concerning.”

Around 71% of the Australian population has an O+ or A+ blood type, which means these are also the most commonly used for patients in need.

“We want to thank everyone who has continued to step up and donate during COVID-19. However, the need for blood and blood products never stops so we urge those who can to make blood or plasma donation part of their ‘new normal’.

“Even if you don’t know what blood type you have, we still need you – we need all blood types every day.”

“Our donor centres are safe to visit, with strict social distancing, cleaning and donor eligibility measures still in place. Only healthy people are eligible to give blood and we have introduced even more stringent wellness checks prior to appointments, including temperature checking,” she said.

New and existing donors are welcome. To book a blood or plasma donation visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.

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