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'Blood Blitz' to avoid Christmas blood shortage

Tuesday 22nd Dec 2020

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Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs 6800 additional blood donations between Christmas and New Year to avoid life-saving blood stocks running low. 

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 Executive Director Cath Stone 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 Stone 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 Stone said.

“Donating blood 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.” 

Many donor centres around the nation will be open between Christmas and the New Year.

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