The ongoing COVID-19 instances and the current cold and flu season have combined to create the ideal conditions for a potential blood donor shortage, and Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is appealing 8,500 people with blood types O and A to donate.
It is estimated that 2,000 donors cancel or reschedule appointments each week owing to cold and flu symptoms, and things are only going to get worse over the next few weeks.
In contrast to last year, more people are canceling or delaying their contributions this year owing to cold, flu, and COVID-19 symptoms, according to Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Experience Cath Stone.
“We are expecting those cancellations to increase over the coming weeks so are asking people with O and A blood types to book a donation. More than 80 per cent of the population has an O or A blood type, meaning these are the types most needed by patients.
“O Negative, the universal blood type, is found in fewer than seven per cent of the population, making it one of the rarer blood types, however its versatility means it makes up 16 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals.
“It is used to treat patients when their blood type is unknown. It’s often stocked in ambulances and rescue helicopters to be used to treat trauma patients who can require huge quantities of blood in a short amount of time.”
To combat the seasonal drop in donors, Lifeblood has partnered with emergency services across the country to launch a blood drive to help secure blood stocks over the winter months.
“Emergency Service workers are used to coming to the rescue in times of need and emergencies, and at this time of year they will also help save lives by donating blood and plasma,” Cath said.
Make an appointment to donate this winter by calling 13 14 95, visiting lifeblood.com.au or the Donate Blood app.