Blood supplies dwindle

THERE are nearly 400 available appointments that need to filled at the Traralgon Blood Donor Centre in the next four weeks, which could help save up to 1200 lives, according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Traralgon Donor Centre community relations officer Mark Jonasz said more blood donors were needed from the area.

“Our regular donors are doing a fantastic job, coming back every 12 weeks to donate blood, however they can’t do it alone and need help to save lives,” Mr Jonasz said.

This comes on the back of news blood supplies have plummeted below three days’ coverage.

“Nationally, we have just 2.2 days’ supply of all blood types,” blood service spokesperson Kathy Bowlen said.

“We aim to have six days’ supply at all times, to ensure we have blood for patients who need it, so this is a real concern for us.

In a statement, Ms Bowlen said there had been a downward donation trend since February, with the four months to May recording almost 27,000 fewer appointments than needed.

“In effect, it’s as though we have missed an entire week of donations, and yet, the number of patients who rely on that blood are just as constant as ever,” she said.

“It’s been a difficult year for the blood supply, and with colds and flu now stopping regular donors coming in; we really need more help to build stocks now.”

Ms Bowlen said it was unclear why there had been a downturn in donations, but urged people to try this life-saving act.

“Every blood donation saves three lives, and the life you save might be that of someone you love,” she said.