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Give a gift that keeps giving this Christmas

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Give a gift that keeps giving this festive season by donating blood. Photo: Australian Red Cross Lifeblood

While the festive season is a time to celebrate and relax, the need for blood never stops so Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is encouraging the community to give the gift of life this holiday season.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood said Australia needed more than 1800 people a day to donate blood in the next two weeks to prevent a shortage of blood products needed by patients this festive season.

People with O and A blood groups were being asked to urgently book a donation.

A new blood donor is needed every four minutes and one blood donation is needed every 18 seconds.

Rosie Barton, Lifeblood Account Manager for the Bundaberg Region, said not only were blood donations required, but plasma donations were also high on the list of priorities.

“Australia needs around 33,000 donations every week to meet patient demand,” she said.

“Red blood cells only last 42 days from when they’re donated and while one in three Aussies will need blood or blood products in their lives, only one in thirty donate.

“Not only are we needing blood donations this festive season, but the current demand for plasma is at an all-time high.”

Platelets only lasting seven days from when blood is donated, which is one of the many reasons why the need for blood never stops.

Plasma is a powerful part of blood that can be used in 18 different life-giving ways with Australia one of the world’s largest users of plasma medicines.

Around half of all donations in Australia today are actually plasma donations

Rosie said blood that was donated made a big difference to the lives of those in need.

“One blood donation can save up to three lives,” she said.

“One third of all donated red cells go to helping people with cancer and blood diseases.”

Find out more about donating blood or plasma here.

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