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March 2020

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Blood donors needed over Easter break

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is calling for more people to factor in a blood donation as part of their Easter long weekend plans to prevent a potential blood shortage.

With around half of all working Australians putting in leave requests to extend their Easter break, Lifeblood is concerned a drop off in the number of people donating may impact blood supplies.

Lifeblood chief executive Shelly Park said while blood would be needed by thousands of people across Australia this Easter, supply was not guaranteed unless more people stepped up to donate.

‘While many people are taking time off or spending time away over the long weekend, the need for blood doesn’t take a break, so we’re urging those who can to book their Easter blood donation now,’ Ms Park said.

‘Cancer patients, those involved in road accidents and even women experiencing complications during childbirth will all need blood over the Easter long weekend and we need your help to keep our fridges full.

‘Of most concern is a blood component called platelets.

‘Platelets help the blood to clot and are essential in the treatment of cancer patients.

‘They only last for five days, however, so they can’t be stockpiled ahead of the long weekend,’ Ms Park said.

‘If you haven’t donated in a while and decide to roll up your sleeves this Easter, you might be in for a few surprises.

‘In addition to now being able to book online or via the Donate Blood app, Lifeblood now uses electronic tablets in centres for donors to complete the pre-donation questions.’

A recent donor with 20 years donating experience described this development as a ‘game-changer’ and ‘a real revelation’ with the tablets replacing the lengthy paper form.

But it is not only the introduction of technology that has changed.

Following a donation, donors will also be sent a text message telling where the blood donation was sent – providing a glimpse at how far the generous donation has gone to help save a life.

‘So if you happen to be one of the many workers taking some additional time off, consider making a blood donation part of your plans – donating at home, on the way to your holiday or, perhaps, at your destination,’ Ms Park said.

‘One in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime and the life you help save this Easter could be that of a loved one.’

Lifeblood Donor Centres are open throughout the Easter long weekend except for Good Friday.

•       For more information telephone 13 14 95 visit lifeblood.com.au or download the Donate Blood app.