VICTORIANS are being urged to roll up their sleeves and generously give the gift of life-saving blood this festive season.
Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos visited the Melbourne CBD Blood Donor Centre late last month to help launch the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s holiday season blood donation drive.
The state government gives the National Blood Authority $110 million for the resources it needs to make sure hospitals can access blood.
The Blood Service collects nearly 25,000 blood donations each week in Australia, but that number can dip over summer, as people cancel, postpone or fail to show up for appointments, impacting blood supplies available for patients in an emergency.
Donations are just as important during the holidays, and blood is likely to be ordered by hospitals the same week it is donated.
A last-minute cancellation or failure to attend leaves the Blood Service without enough time to replace the donor.
Every blood donation can save up to three lives. It is estimated that one in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime, but only one in 30 people donate blood.
“While most people are enjoying a break, the demand for blood doesn’t stop,” Ms Mikakos said. “The Melbourne CBD Blood Donor Centre remains open and I encourage everyone who can to give the gift of life-saving blood this holiday season.
“One in three of us will require blood in their lifetime, but only one in 30 of us donate. By donating blood, you’re potentially helping save the lives of cancer patients, babies and road trauma victims.”
Australian Red Cross Blood Service executive director Cath Stone said the service understood people may be busy planning their end-of-year festivities, but there were patients who weren’t so lucky and who would still need blood.
To give blood, phone 13 14 95 or head to donateblood.com.au.