Australia still needs 7,500 extra blood donors on and surrounding New Year’s Eve to avoid a potential shortage of a product vital to treating cancer patients.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has called on its donors to rally and make an appointment to give blood between 29 December and 4 January to ensure it can collect enough platelets, a product used often by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said generous donors had helped cancer patients through Christmas, but that the Blood Service was still concerned about New Year’s Eve.
“Many people will take New Year’s Eve as a public holiday meaning they’ll have a five day weekend,” Mr Inguanzo said.
“The issue for us is that platelets only live for five days, and so we need as many donors as possible on the Monday, which is New Year’s Eve, to top up supplies until donors return on 2 January and beyond.
“At the moment we are still 7,500 appointments short of where we need to be to feel comfortable at this time of the year in the event of a spike in demand.”
Mr Inguanzo said one in three Australians would need blood in their lifetime.
“The need for blood never takes a break, and the greatest users of blood are cancer patients,” he said.
“If you know someone who has battled or is currently battling cancer then you know how tiring the treatment can be.
“Donated blood is a source of vitality for people undergoing chemotherapy.
“Just an hour of your time could mean a lifetime to someone else this New Year period, so please roll up your sleeves and make an appointment to give blood.”
Make an appointment online or call 13 14 95.
Our Nearest Donor Centre is at Miranda, click here for details.