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Donors urged to “hop in” this Easter

10 Mar 2016

Donors urged to “hop in” this Easter Image

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is urging Southbank locals to donate blood at the Southbank donor centre this March.

Concerned about the impact of two long weekends this month, Blood Service spokesman Doug Allen said it needed more people to help out over Labour Day and the Easter long weekend.

“We’re worried because many of our regular blood donors will head off on a well-earned break over Labour Day long weekend or over Easter,” he said.

“Sadly, the need for blood doesn’t take a break with patients still requiring blood products during these times,” he said.

“We’re asking locals to consider donating blood during March to help ensure patients get the blood products they need.”

“We also really need people to consider donating blood on Sundays, as patient needs don’t stop just because it’s the weekend.”

Of most concern is a component of the blood called platelets. Either collected directly or made from whole blood donations, platelets are mostly used by patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

Platelets have a very short shelf life – only five days after they’ve been collected and without enough donors giving blood over long weekends, the supply can quickly drop.

“Every donation has the power to save up to three lives,” Mr Allen said.

“With one in three Australians needing blood in their lifetime yet only one in 30 donating, most of us will know someone who has benefitted from this incredible gift.”

“Patients undergoing chemotherapy, people with anaemia, orthopaedic patients, those on kidney dialysis, pregnant women and even premature babies all benefit from blood donations.”

Mr Allen explained that donating blood was easier than most people thought.

“Generally people aged between 16 and 70 years of age who are feeling fit and well are able to donate, but if you’re not sure, please don’t rule yourself out,” Mr Allen said.

“The donation process is quite straight-forward. We do ask donors to make an appointment as it helps to reduce waiting times when they arrive at the centre.”

“Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before, bring photo ID and when you arrive you’ll be handed some paperwork to complete.”

“You’ll then be taken in for a quick medical assessment before making your donation in one of our comfortable donor couches.”

“Within 5-10 minutes on the couch it’s all done, and you can enjoy Australia’s best biscuit in the knowledge you’ve just saved three lives!”

The Southbank Donor Centre, located at Level 1, 51-65 Clarke St, is open six days a week to collect blood donations from the local community.

The centre will also be open for collections on Labour Day (8.00am - 3.30pm), Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (8am - 3.30pm).

To make your appointment to donate please call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au/make-appointment

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