11 March 2022

Give blood now, Red Cross urges Canberrans

| Sally Hopman
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Blood and plasma donors at a Red Cross Lifeblood centre

Canberra donors are urged to give blood to the Red Cross this week to help make up for supplies affected by the recent floods up north. Photo: Red Cross Lifeblood Facebook.

Blood donations are needed urgently from donors in the Capital region to replace supplies affected by the recent floods in the nation’s north-east.

Local spokeswoman Sally Gavin said the Red Cross was hoping for an extra 220 collections this week at the Civic and Garran blood donation centres as well as from the Goulburn centre.

Ms Gavin said Red Cross centres up north had been hard hit by record flooding from Queensland down to Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore. More recently, centres in Sydney, including Bondi, North Sydney and Liverpool, had also been affected by both flooding and evacuation orders. She appealed to people in areas like Canberra and southern NSW to donate blood so the Red Cross could make up the shortfall of 3000 donations nationally.

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She said this shortfall was equivalent to an entire Saturday’s supply of blood donations. In Sydney, for example, a fifth of the country’s blood is collected so with that city so hard hit by the recent catastrophic weather, urgent blood donations were needed to make up the difference.

“Seven donor centres along with our mobile units across Queensland have been impacted by the floods, with Lismore donor centre in NSW remaining closed for an extended period due to flood damage,” she said.

“Flooding, challenges with staff and donors unable to reach centres and road closures have all contributed to reduced collections.

“In addition, we have seen a high number of donors understandably unable to get to their appointments as they focus on their families and homes or follow stay-at-home evacuation orders.”

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Ms Gavin said many of the donor centres in Queensland had been reopened, but as donors were still cut off by flooded roads, the Red Cross was calling on people in non-affected flood areas like Canberra to help out.

“With blood being such a critical resource, we are calling on our donors in Canberra to roll up their sleeves and help make up the shortfall of the past week,” she said.

“People out there may be thinking, ‘How can I help?’. Donating blood ensures that patients in these communities get the medical help they need.”

Potential blood donors are urged to go to the Lifeblood website to find their nearest donor centre, check their eligibility and book a donation.

For more information, call 131 495.

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