8 December 2023

Give the gift of blood this Christmas: Red Cross needs 500 more donors to cope with spike in demand

| Jarryd Rowley
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Two donors donating plasma at Wagga's Lifeblood donation centre

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is calling for an additional 500 donors to roll up their sleeves during the summer months. Photo: Jarryd Rowley.

Wagga Wagga’s Lifeblood donation centre is seeking an additional 500 donors to roll up their sleeves and give blood or plasma this holiday period.

Lifeblood has made the callout to boost essential supplies during a time of heightened demand nationwide.

Lifeblood spokesperson Mitch Bryce said that every 18 seconds, someone in Australia needed blood or plasma.

“Christmas is the season for giving, and what could be a better gift than giving blood and plasma,” Mr Bryce said.

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“Donating blood and plasma doesn’t cost anything, but for a patient, it is life-changing. For some, it could mean spending another Christmas with family and friends. For others, it will be the key to a fuller life.

“With one in three Aussies needing blood or blood products in their lifetime, our message this Christmas is to give a gift you know is at the top of someone’s wish list.”

Mr Bryce said the Wagga Wagga Donor Centre needed 500 additional donors with plenty of availability over the entirety of December.

“There are an additional 240 appointments available the first week of January at the Wagga Wagga Donor Centre,” Mr Bryce said.

“With many donors planning to travel over Christmas and the summer holiday period, we are urging anyone who can to donate so we can ensure that patients in the hospital who need blood every day will receive the blood and blood products they need.

“More than 80 per cent of the population has an O or A blood group, meaning these blood types are most in demand by hospitals.”

Mr Bryce said blood donation was one of the greatest gifts a person could give, not just at Christmas but all year round, and he urged the public to book a donation time this festive season and make a huge difference to someone who needed it.

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Until 31 December, donors will receive a limited-edition “Australiana” Christmas-inspired bandage designed by Melbourne-based artist Madeleine Stamer.

In designing the bandage, Ms Stamer, who is also a donor, wanted to create a festive “thankyou” to donors.

“My bandage design literally says, ‘Thank You’. As we inch to the end of another year, it’s my way of saying thank you to other donors and thank you to the wonderful caring staff who always make me feel at ease when giving blood,” she said.

To book an appointment at the Wagga Wagga Lifeblood Donation Centre, download the Donate Blood app, call 13 14 95 or visit the Lifeblood website here.

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