Urgent call for blood donors as Australia’s stocks drop to just two days’ supply
The Australian Red Cross is urgently calling for donors as the country faces a shortage of two of its most common types of blood.
Supplies are now down to just two days and 16,000 people are needed to replenish stocks within the next two weeks. All blood and plasma types are needed, but in particular, Lifeblood’s supplies of O+ and A+ blood are running low.
The service has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer donors making appointments. Around 1200 people are either cancelling or not turning up to their donations every day.
“As restrictions return in South Australia, and are eased in other parts of the country, it’s essential that blood and plasma donations continue,” Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone said.
Every week 31,000 donations are needed to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.
“We saw the absolute best of the community throughout the pandemic with donors continuing to come in, however, this recent trend of decreasing appointments and increasing cancellations is concerning.”
Around 71 per cent of Australia’s population has an O+ or A+ blood type, making them the most commonly used for patients in need.
Ms Stone said the need for blood “never stops”.
“We urge those who can to make blood or plasma donation part of their ‘new normal’,” she said.
“Even if you don’t know what blood type you have, we still need you – we need all blood types every day.”
The service has increased stringent wellness checks prior to appointments, including temperature checking, to ensure the health and safety of donors.