KeepHealthCare.ORG – Blood donation: O-negative shortage due to flu season
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is in desperate need of O-Negative blood after reaching a critical shortage of supply.
They’ve been left with just two days’ supply of blood because of the impact cold and flu season has had on regular donors.
O-Negative is often in demand because it is the only type that can be used in an emergency situation regardless of the person’s own blood type spokesperson Jemma Falkenmire explained.
“To boost our inventory we
need 4500 O-Negative blood donors to donate between now and the end of July,” she told Kidspot.
There is a shortage of O-Negative blood due to cold and flu season hitting regular donors. Source: Supplied
Half of all Aussies don’t even know their blood type
“Only nine percent of the population is O-Negative, and around half of Australians don’t know their blood type, making supplies of O-Negative a real challenge,” Ms Falkenmire explained.
“It’s important we have a constant supply, as donations of O-Negative blood type are generally used within four days of donation due to demand,” she added.
One third of those donors are needed in New South Wales. It’s actually pretty easy to donate and it only takes around an hour to do it and everyone gets a free health check before they do it.
Donations of O-Negative blood are generally used within four days of donation. Source: Supplied
“We are always in need of new donors”
Despite the shortage of O-Negative, the Red Cross are urging anyone who can to donate blood.
“We are always in need of new donors, and while O-Negative is the universal type, we’d encourage people of all blood types to make a donation this winter,” she explained.
“Cancer patients, people undergoing surgery, pregnant women and unborn babies all require donated blood of all types,” Ms Falkenmire added.
“We also ask that you encourage your friends and family to donate blood with you, particularly if they haven’t done so before,” she said.
If you can donate now is the perfect time of year to roll up your sleeves and help out.
To donate, contact the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95.