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Blood blitz to prevent Christmas shortage

Wednesday 18th Dec 2019

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs 7,500 blood donations between Christmas and New Year to bolster blood supplies this festive season.

Lifeblood is concerned without more donors between this Saturday, December 21 and January 2 life-giving blood stocks may run low. 

The time between Christmas and New Year is when many regular donors take a well-earned break, yet the need for blood never stops.

One blood product vital to cancer treatment is platelets, which are made from blood donations and have a shelf-life of just five days, meaning a constant supply is needed. Platelets are the clotting agent of blood and also help combat life-threatening bleeding from road accidents and in other emergency situations. 

Lifeblood spokesperson Helen Walsh said thousands of Australians will still be relying on blood donors this Christmas.  

“It takes blood donations from four people to make just one bag of platelets for patients, and they only last for five days so we can’t stockpile them ahead of the holidays.

“Timing is critical, and the period between this Saturday, December 21 and January 2 is when platelet stocks are most at risk with blood donors constantly needed to ensure patients get this vital product.

“We’re launching the Blood Blitz to remind people the need for blood won’t be taking a break this Christmas and urge those who can to make an appointment to donate over the holidays. 

“We need a new donor every five minutes to meet Australia’s growing blood needs so there’s never been a better time to donate.”

One in three Australians will need blood or a blood product in their lifetime; you could save a life this festive season.

Donor centres around the country will be open this festive season, including some centres on Boxing Day. 

Book an appointment online or call 13 14 95 to make a donation at a centre near you.