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Give the gift of life for Christmas

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is calling for extra blood and plasma donations over the Christmas period.

Bundaberg Region residents are being asked to roll up their sleeves and give blood, and the gift of life, for Christmas with 100 blood and plasma donations needed over the holidays.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs more than 2000 additional blood and plasma donations in Queensland between Christmas and New Year to avoid life-saving blood stocks running low.

This figure incorporates the 300 blood and plasma donations required at the service’s Bundaberg Donor Centre every week to meet the region’s demand.

With many donors expected to travel and back-to-back long weekends coming up, Lifeblood is calling on people to factor a blood donation into their plans this festive season.

“It can be a challenging time for blood supplies – as the need for blood doesn’t stop over the holiday period” Lifeblood spokesperson Belinda Smetioukh said.

Despite donors responding to a call out in record numbers last month, the need for short-lived platelets is constant.

“Platelets only last for five days so we’re unable to stockpile them ahead of long weekends or busy periods,” Ms Smetioukh said.

“Adding to the challenge is the fact that it takes blood donations from four people to make just one dose of platelets used to help cancer patients recover from their intensive treatments.”

Those involved in road accidents, undergoing surgery, and women experiencing complications during childbirth will also be relying on blood donations to help them make it through.

“Timing is critical and the period between 26 December and 2 January is when platelet stocks are most under pressure,” Ms Smetioukh said.

“Donating blood or plasma is one of the most powerful gifts you can give. For some it may give them more time with loved ones or improve their quality of life; for others, it could quite literally save their life.”

The Bundaberg Donation Centre will operate during the Christmas holiday period, opening on December 24 (7am-1pm), December 26 (8am-1pm), December 28 (11am-5pm) and December 31 (7am-1pm).

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

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