An urgent plea has been issued for blood and plasma donations in an effort to boost critical supplies ahead of the upcoming Easter period.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood says it needs 3600 people to donate blood around the nation this week alone.
There is a particular need for donors with with A positive, B positive, O positive and O negative blood.
Lifeblood is also asking people to book a donation between Good Friday and Easter Monday to ensure an ongoing supply of blood and plasma for patients who will need it during next month’s long weekend.
Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone says demand from hospitals is at its highest level in nearly a decade.
“We now have more donors than at any point in the past 10 years, however demand for all blood groups, especially O negative continues to increase as hospitals catch up on surgeries post-pandemic,” she said on Tuesday.
O negative has the universal blood type and is used to treat patients when their blood type is unknown and is often stocked in ambulances and rescue helicopters for trauma patients who can require huge quantities in a short time.
“Fewer than seven per cent of the Australian population is O negative, making it one of the rarer blood types, however its versatility means it makes up 16 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals,” Ms Stone said.
(Australian Associated Press)