Flu season triggers blood donor shortage

HAPPY TO HELP: Orange Red Cross Blood Service nurse Therese Goodacre tends to Debra Crump, who was happy to roll up her sleeve to help answer the blood service’s call for more donations. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER              0818lsblood3

HAPPY TO HELP: Orange Red Cross Blood Service nurse Therese Goodacre tends to Debra Crump, who was happy to roll up her sleeve to help answer the blood service’s call for more donations. Photo: LUKE SCHUYLER 0818lsblood3

THE Australian Red Cross Blood Service is experiencing an alarming shortage of donors as they battle a debilitating winter flu season.

Orange Donor Centre nurse unit manager Gale Turnbull said nationally the blood service was running low across all major blood groups, especially stocks of O Negative and O Positive.

“Each donor centre has a target and here on Tuesdays and Fridays we have a whole blood target, on average, of about 20 donations, but over the next week or so we only have seven donors down to give blood,” she said.

“A lot of our regular donors are sick and struggling to make donations, so we need to get as many people to donate as we can, especially when demand is higher like it is at the moment.”

Orange donor David Bunting started giving blood when he was in the Scouts more than seven years ago and believes everyone should get involved.

“I know first-hand how important donations can be because my mother needed it in the past, so if you have these blood types which are short, you should come and donate because it does a lot of good,” he said.

“I also encourage work groups and employers to encourage their workers to donate during work hours. That shows great support for the community.”

Orange resident Debra Crump was making her eighth donation at the Orange Donor Centre yesterday and, like many others, was happy to do her part.

“People should realise that it doesn’t take a big effort to donate blood and you never know when you or someone you love is going to need it,” she said.

To give blood contact 131 495 or visit donateblood.com.au.

luke.schuyler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop