Demand for red cell units has fallen, while there is growth in demand for plasma-based products, making the Toowoomba centre the focus of collections.
Demand for red cell units has fallen, while there is growth in demand for plasma-based products, making the Toowoomba centre the focus of collections. Thinkstock

The 'Blood Blitz' needs you as regular donors take a break

BLOOD banks have been left empty and forgotten as many regular donors go on holidays over Christmas.

In the Hervey Bay blood donor centre, more than 120 blood and plasma donation appointments still need to be filled for the December-January period, allowing people to give the gift of life this Christmas.

The Red Cross Blood Service has set up a 'Blood Blitz' to encourage people to roll up their sleeves and donate.

One of these donors, Grant Staunton, said giving plasma was the best gift he could give anyone this Christmas.

"Especially around this time there are more accidents so they need more of a helping hand," Grant said.

"And with all the donors away at the moment, every bit helps."

Grant has been donating blood and plasma for 12 years, and yesterday gave his 127th donation.

Red Cross Blood Service spokeswoman Belinda Smetioukh said thousands of Australians would need blood this Christmas and New Year "just to have the hope of spending those moments with friends and family".

"If a friend or family member needed blood this festive season you'd expect blood to just 'be there'," Belinda said.

"It will only be there, if others have made the generous decision to donate at these critical times.

The call for more blood comes two months after the closure of Maryborough's blood donation centre, but Belinda said the closure was not a contributing factor to the blood shortage.

"We have actually already seen over 60 Maryborough donors come and donate at the Hervey Bay Donor Centre in the last few months."

About 3000 people currently donate at the Hervey Bay centre.

Donating blood

The Hervey Bay blood donor centre is located at 43 Hunter St, Pialba.

Phone 13 14 95 to make an appointment.



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