The Australian Red Cross Blood Service needs 5,900 additional people to give blood over the next fortnight as an early start to the cold and flu season has seen up to 1,400 donors each day cancelling their appointments.
The call for O and A blood type donors comes as the upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend is expected to exacerbate the problem.
“To meet the needs of Australian patients, we really need 5,900 additional people to donate over the next two weeks,” Blood Service spokesperson, Helen Walsh said.
“Our data shows around 1,400 donors every day are cancelling their donation appointments.
“We haven’t seen cancellations this high since March 2017, and as the number of people suffering cold and flu symptoms increases, it limits the number of regular donors who are able to give.
“In particular, we need people with O and A blood types to donate.
“Nearly 90 per cent of the Australian population has an O or A blood type meaning these blood types are most in demand,” she added.
Historically, cold and flu season can place a strain on the Blood Service as symptoms prevent existing donors from making their life-saving donations.
“We need people who are fully recovered from colds or the flu, and those who have avoided it, to take the place of those who are unable to answer our call,” Ms Walsh said.
People are still able to donate if they have had a flu vaccination and donors affected by cold and flu symptoms are able to give blood seven days after making a full recovery.
One in three Australians will need donated blood in their lifetime so the life you save could be that of a loved one.
To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or book online.