Belinda Smetioukh Media Mgr Red Cross Blood Service 2019-08-06
O Negative Blood Donors Urgently Needed
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is calling on 5,000 people with O Negative blood to donate over the next fortnight, as O Negative levels reach their lowest point this year.
“With our regular donors still being knocked out by cold and flu, we’ve seen the Blood Service’s own reserves of O Negative dip to less than two days’ supply after maintaining hospital stocks,” Blood Service spokesperson, Helen Walsh said.
“We are urging first time and regular O Negative donors to roll up their sleeves and give blood in order to boost supplies.”
O Negative is the universal blood type and can be given to anyone in an emergency situation.
Only nine percent of the population is O Negative, making it one of the rarer blood types, however its versatility means it makes up 17 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals.
Ms Walsh said the Blood Service needs more O Negative donors to continue meeting hospital demand.
“We need 5,000 O Negative donations over the next two weeks to meet this demand," Ms Walsh said.
"If you are O Negative, someone in your family could be too. We’re asking people to talk to their family and encourage them to donate.”
Maintaining O Negative supplies during winter is a seasonal challenge for the Blood Service, with last minute appointment cancellations adding to the strain.
“If you are feeling unwell and already have an appointment booked in, please let us know as soon as possible so we can find someone else to take your place,” Ms Walsh says.
This winter, cold and flu symptoms have contributed to as many as 1,300 donors a day cancelling appointments.
“We need others to step up – in this case people with O Negative blood – to take the place of those who are unable to answer our call,” says Ms Walsh.
“With one in three of us needing donated blood or blood products in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of friend or family member.”
To give blood, please call 13 14 95 or book online at www.donateblood.com.au