Red Cross calls for donors as winter blood supplies dwindle


By Sam Reynolds

Produced for online by Lily Nothling

The Red Cross are encouraging people who have never given blood to visit a donation facility. Image source: Pixabay.

Australia has just two days of blood supply left, and the Red Cross are urging volunteers to get back in the chair.

As cold and flu season sets in, the number of regular donors who are able to give blood has decreased.

Blood services spokeswoman Erin Lagoudakis says they’re calling for about 8,000 additional donors to visit a donation facility over the next few weeks.

“[It’s] to make sure that when we do head into winter we’ve got enough blood there for patients who need it,” she says.

“You never know if it’s going to be you or a loved one who might need blood, and the reality is that one-in-three of us will need blood but only one in 30 currently donate.”

The Red Cross now sends text messages to donors notifying them where their blood was sent, meaning the journey doesn’t end at the donation centre.

The new feature is intended to reaffirm the importance of each donation.

There are many reasons a person may need blood in their lives, including surgeries, major accidents or permanent medical issues.

Llewellyn Foster was born with an immune deficiency and is just one of many people who benefit from blood donations.

“I need the white blood cells which come from the donations to keep me alive,” he says.

“I receive doses of it every week, and if I wasn’t to receive that, I probably wouldn’t live past six months.

“In the long scheme of things, [donors are] saving someone’s life … whether it’s someone like me with a deficiency or someone who needs it from surgery.”

Lagoudakis is urging people who haven’t before to consider donating.

The Red Cross is looking for O-Negative and O-Positive blood donors.