Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is appealing for blood donors to address potential shortage

Life blood: A nurse tends to a donor at Lifeblood's The Shire Donor Centre, Miranda. Picture: Supplied
Life blood: A nurse tends to a donor at Lifeblood's The Shire Donor Centre, Miranda. Picture: Supplied

The Australian Red Cross is appealing for people to urgently donate blood and plasma to prevent a potential shortage in coming weeks.

Lifeblood says it needs an extra 10,383 additional people to give blood and plasma over the next two weeks to address a reduction in appointments, which could affect supplies of all blood and plasma types.

Lifeblood chief executive Shelly Park said 31,000 donations were needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and other illnesses.

"To meet the needs of Australian patients, we really need 10,383 additional people to donate over the next two weeks," she said.

"Despite dramatic changes to the everyday lives of Australians since March, we've seen people continue to generously donate blood and plasma.

"But over the past three months, we have seen the number of people cancelling or not turning up for their appointments increase nationally by around 5000."

She said a drop in appointment numbers over the coming weeks could lead to supply issues.

"As different parts of the country experience lockdowns and restrictions, it's important to remember blood and plasma donation is essential and allowed," she said.

"Donating blood and plasma is classed as essential caregiving and we have worked with all state and territory governments to make sure donors can keep their appointments, even in lockdown."

She said Lifeblood donor centres were safe to visit, with strict social distancing, cleaning and donor eligibility measures in place.

Stringent wellness checks are also in place, including temperature checks.

"We want to thank everyone who's continued to step up and donate during this pandemic," she said.

"However, the reality is the need for blood and blood products never stops so we urge all eligible Australians to make blood or plasma donation part of their 'new normal'."

Details: To make an appointment phone 13 14 95 or click here.

This story Urgent blood donor appeal first appeared on Fairfield City Champion.