The Lifeblood Port Macquarie Donor Centre is calling for people to donate blood, whether they are existing donors or haven't considered donating before, and buck the trend of a shortage of blood supplies unfolding internationally.
"Our local donors are incredibly generous, they always rally to ensure patients get the blood they need," Australian Red Cross Life Blood group accounts manager Gilly Paxton said.
"We are asking them to help by making that extra donation and avoiding last minute cancellations. Only 3.5 percent of our community donate and we would like to welcome many new donors to the Port Macquarie donor centre.
"Donating blood is one of the best ways to help our community."
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals, medical facilities and communities is stretching blood supplies around the world.
While nations across the globe grapple with maintaining blood supplies, Lifeblood has confirmed Australian patients are still getting the blood products they need, but warns of similar pressure if Aussie donors become complacent.
"Australian donors have been incredibly generous and helped ensure our blood supply has remained sufficient, but with hospital demand for blood the highest it's been in nearly a decade, it's critical people don't stop donating now," Cath Stone, executive director of Donor Services said.
"We've done well during the global pandemic, but now is not the time to let that famous Aussie generosity lapse.
"While Australia is ahead of the game, we urge existing donors to consider increasing the frequency of their donations right now and for new donors to come forward to ensure this stays the case.
"Unfortunately COVID lockdowns, a change in people's movements and lifestyles, and general social anxiety has led to many of our wonderful donors cancelling their regular donations, or simply failing to show up.
"Our message today is please come back. Book a donation, but better still, book three donations over the next 12 months and know you are potentially helping save up to nine lives," Ms Stone said.
Ms Stone said Australia needs to double appointments before Christmas, to ensure the nation's healthy blood supply keeps flowing.
"We'd especially love to see people with O-positive and O-negative blood types book their donation soon.
"With many hospitals reporting increases in emergency presentations demand is the highest it's been in nearly 10 years," she added.
"Now is the time for all Australians to do what we do so well - roll up our sleeves and lend an arm. Healthy and well people can visit Lifeblood Donor Centres safely and blood donation is considered an essential activity."
Check your eligibility to donate blood. To book a donation please call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au or download the free Donate Blood app.
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