The Australian Red Cross has launched a “Blood Blitz” to drum up extra donations this festive season so life-saving supplies don’t run low.
The organisation needs 4,500 blood donations between Christmas and New Year to bolster supplies.
“We’re launching the Blood Blitz to remind people the need for blood won’t be taking a break this Christmas and urge those who can to make an appointment to donate these holidays,” spokesperson Helen Walsh said.
“We’re hoping to welcome 10,000 new donors over the coming month to meet Australia’s growing blood needs so there’s never been a better time to donate.”
Ms Walsh said donations over the festive season would help bolster vital supplies of blood platelets, which have a shelf-life of just five days.
The platelets help prevent internal bleeding in patients.
“It takes blood donations from four people to make just one bag of platelets for patients, and they only last for five days so we can’t stockpile them ahead of the holidays,” she said.
“Timing is critical, and the period between Boxing Day and New Year is when platelet stocks are most at risk with blood donors constantly needed to ensure patients get this vital product.”