Australians are being urged to use some of their Christmas holiday time to donate blood as the Red Cross warns of a severe shortage across the country.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood needs 1,600 donations a day to meet current demand for whole blood, platelets and plasma until January 2.
Sixteen blood donation centers across the country will also keep their doors open on New Year’s Day during a time when donations traditionally fall after Christmas.
Lifeblood Donor Services chief executive Cath Stone said while there was a huge response to the Christmas “blood drive”, thousands more donations were still needed.
“These 8,000 blood donors have the potential to help nearly 24,000 Australian patients who rely on blood products during this time,” Stone said.
“Giving blood takes about an hour, but it’s a gift that will make a real difference to a patient’s life.”
Serious injuries, surgeries, childbirth complications and cancer treatments are just some of the reasons an Australian will be relying on a blood donation every 18 seconds over the next week.
Here’s how many additional donors will be needed in each state each day:
DARWIN, NT: 10
To book a donation, call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au or download the free Donate Blood app.
Originally published as Red Cross makes desperate plea to blood donors to avert national shortage crisis