Lifeblood urgently seeks donors over Easter

March 28, 2024 BY

Half of all donations in Australia are plasma donations.

Ahead of Easter, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has issued an appeal for blood and plasma donors amid growing demand by hospitals.

The need for blood is 3 percent higher than the same time last year, while demand for platelets, the clotting agent in blood, is at a record high.

Platelets are taken from blood donations and are a vital part of treatment for cancer patients and road trauma victims.

Lifeblood executive director of strategy and growth Stuart Chesneau said 1,000 donors are needed every day across Australia every day between Monday of this week and Easter Monday to ensure hospitals receive the blood they need.

This figure includes 2,100 donors in Victoria alone.

“Blood and blood products will be required every 18 seconds this Easter long weekend and throughout the school holidays by trauma and emergency patients, mums delivering babies, people with blood conditions and cancer patients,” Mr Chesneau said.

“And every person who comes in and makes a donation can save up to three lives,” Stuart said.

About 1,000 donors are needed every day across Australia every day between Monday of this week and Easter Monday. Photos: FACEBOOK/LIFEBLOOD AUSTRALIA

Easter is a traditionally challenging time for donations because many regular donors take a break to spend time with family and friends or go away for the four-day weekend.

“Blood is complex and cannot be synthetically produced, so we rely on the generosity of donors to ensure patients have access to the blood they need when they need it, including over holiday periods,” Mr Chesneau said.

In 2023, 17 people lost their lives on the roads throughout Easter, while many more required hospital treatment.

Just one person involved in a serious road crash can need as many as 100 bags of blood to survive depending on their injuries.

Platelets are also vital to combat life-threatening bleeding in emergency situations

Platelets act like tiny bandaids to clot blood, but only have a shelf life of seven days.

“Hospitals can’t always predict what trauma or emergency patients might come through their doors so having a reliable supply of blood, plasma, and platelets is critical,” Mr Chesneau said.

“A blood donation only takes one hour, with just 5-10 minutes on the couch, while a plasma donation takes 90 minutes.”

Lifeblood has a record 49 Lifeblood donor centres open throughout Australia on Good Friday and most centres are open on Easter Monday, providing plenty of opportunities to donate.

To book an appointment, phone 13 14 95, book online at lifeblood.com.au or download the DonateBlood app.

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