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Tuesday 19th Dec 2017

The Blood Service is desperately urging 4,000 people to make a donation this Christmas and New Year period to help prevent a shortage of blood components used largely by cancer patients.

Christmas is a time when many regular donors take a break - yet the need for blood never stops.

At risk are supplies of platelets, the clotting component of the blood that is largely relied on by cancer patients to prevent internal bleeding.

Platelets only have a shelf life of five days, so a constant flow of donors is required, even during holiday times.

Blood Service spokeswoman Jemma Falkenmire today urged Australians to make an appointment to give blood between Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year’s Eve (31 December).

“The period between Christmas and the New Year is when platelet stocks are most at risk,” she said.

“That’s why we are today launching our Christmas and New Year Blood Blitz, to remind people that the need for blood doesn’t take a break. “Cancer patients are the biggest users of donated blood in Australia; it’s critical to helping them through chemotherapy.

“With one in three of us needing donated blood in our lifetime, the life you help save this festive season could even be that of a loved one.”

To become a donor this Christmas and New Year book an appointment online or call 13 14 95.