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Blood Blitz launched to bolster stocks

  • Australia needs an extra 25,000 blood donations over the Christmas and New Year

  • Australia needs an extra 25,000 blood donations over the Christmas and New Year
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Australia needs an extra 25,000 blood donations over the Christmas and New Year period to bolster supplies for cancer patients, road trauma victims and people undergoing emergency surgery.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is today beginning a Christmas and New Year ‘Blood Blitz’ designed to fill appointments at a time when regular donors are likely to take a holiday, leading to a drop off in blood stocks.

The Blood Blitz begins today and will run until January 4, with the Blood Service pointing to Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve as the most concerning days due to the low number of appointments currently booked.

Blood Service spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said the need for blood never took a break.

“The Christmas break will be longer than the shelf-life of some blood products, prompting concerns that without enough donors, stocks could run severely low,” he said.

“Australia has more than 600,000 blood donors capable of chipping in, but currently only 300 are giving blood on Christmas Eve.

“Some products like platelets – essential in helping cancer patients cope with chemotherapy – only have a shelf life of five days.

“We know many regular donors will start their holidays on the Saturday before Christmas, and their platelets will expire on Boxing Day.  So we need people to donate on Christmas Eve, to ensure we have enough platelets for all those who rely on them.

“It only takes an hour of your time and every donation helps to save three lives.”

Mr Inguanzo said some regular donors going on holidays should check the Blood Service website to see if a donor centre would be open near their vacation destination.

Make an appointment online or call 13 14 95.

For images or further information please contact:  Shaun Inguanzo,  M: 0458 005 774 E: singuanzo@redcrossblood.org.au