The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has today (December 17) launched the Christmas and New Year 'Blood Blitz', which is designed to fill appointments in a time when usual donors will likely be on holiday.
An extra 25,000 blood donations are needed over this holiday period, to help boost supply for road trauma victims, patients undergoing emergency surgery and cancer patients.
The Blood Blitz will run until January 4, with the Blood Service highlighting Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as the 'most concerning days' due to low appointment numbers.
"The Christmas break will be longer than the shelf-life of some blood products, prompting concerns that without enough donors, stocks could run severely low," said Blood Service spokesman Shaun Inguanzo.
"Australia has more than 600,000 blood donors capable of chipping in, but currently only 300 are
giving blood on Christmas Eve."
Mr Iguanzo said that some products essential for helping patients cope with chemotherapy only have a five-day shelf life. He added that people are needed to donate on Christmas Eve to ensure there are enough platelets for those that rely on them.
"It only takes an hour of your time and every donation helps to save three lives," he said.
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