Victorians are being urged to give the lifesaving gift of blood to ensure supplies don’t run low during the holiday season.
Acting Minister for Health Martin Foley visited the Melbourne CBD Blood Donor Centre today to thank generous Victorians who have donated blood and to remind donors to keep their appointments this time of year.
Australia needs more than 29,000 blood donations each week to meet demand, but the number of donations can dwindle during the holiday season – seriously impacting supplies available for patients in emergencies.
The Melbourne CBD Blood Donor Centre – the biggest in Australia – will be open for business every day of the remaining holiday season, except for New Year’s Day.
The Andrews Labor Government delivered $114 million this year to the National Blood Authority for the resources it needs to make sure Victorian hospitals can access blood and blood products when and where they are needed.
The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s “Blood Blitz” campaign started on 18 December and is seeking 7,500 blood donations between Christmas and New Year to ensure critical stocks do not run low.
Lifeblood estimates that it needs another 400 donations in Victoria by close of business tomorrow and another 1,200 across the rest of Australia to meet their targets.
Lifeblood will collect all blood types, but there is a particular emphasis at this time of year on the need for platelets, which come from blood donations and have a shelf-life of only five days.
Platelets are a vital clotting agent for blood that are used in cancer treatment and to help stop life-threatening bleeding from road accidents and other traumas.
It takes donations from four people to make just one bag of platelets.
There is always a need for more donors as Lifeblood estimates we need a new donor every five minutes to meet Australia’s growing blood needs.
Visit lifeblood.com.au or call 13 14 95 to make a donation appointment at a blood donor centre near you.
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Health Martin Foley
“At this time of year people cancel, postpone or fail to show up for blood donation appointments, which can have a real impact on blood supply.”
“I encourage all eligible Victorians give the gift of life by making a blood donation this holiday season.”
Quote attributable to Australian Red Cross Lifeblood spokesperson Maureen Bower
“The need for blood won’t be taking a break this New Year and I urge anyone who can to book their donation now.”