Great response to blood service appeal

THE Taree blood service has received an overwhelming response to its Blood Blitz campaign.

Jemma Falkenmire, from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, thanked the community for supporting the blood service and claims that they are now looking for just 80 donors, a small percentage of what was needed the week before when the campaign was launched.

The Blood Blitz encouraged Taree locals to donate blood over the Christmas and New Year period.

Even Santa is helping out at Taree Blood Service so that his blood can be used to give the greatest gift of all - the gift of life.

This time of year is particularly challenging for the blood service because people are often out of area on holiday.

However, the treatment of people with illness does not take a break over this festive season.

Blood is needed to help these patients make it through to the new year, especially cancer and leukaemia sufferers. In fact, 34 per cent of all blood donated goes to cancer patients, compared to the two per cent that goes to trauma and accident victims.

Platelets are a component of blood needed for blood clotting in the body, but only have a shelf life of five days. Treatments of cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, lead to a low blood cell count. Therefore, because this blood expires so quickly, it is imperative that residents of Taree continue to donate blood, from December 23 to January 3.

Greg French, the community relations officer at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, says every blood donation has the ability to save three lives in our community.

He reminded residents of Taree that there are plenty of vacancies to donate blood from Christmas to the New Year.

"One in three people will need a life saving blood transfusion in their lifetime, yet only one in 30 will donate," he said, urging even first time donors to call 13 14 95 to make an appointment during this critical time.

So, take some time out of your busy Christmas schedule to call the Taree Blood Service and save someone's life over the New Year.

To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au

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