Taree Blood Donor Centre is calling on the local community to show their Australian spirit by donating blood in the lead up to Australia Day.
Following consistent support over the Christmas period, Red Cross Blood Service’s community relations officer Felix Palmer has confirmed the proceeding weeks in January are a desperate time for receiving donations as they are extremely low.
"People may feel they have done their duty for the year and invariably there is a shortfall afterwards, simply because we have a fantastic response around Christmas time.
“Of course the reality is we need blood all year round,” Felix said. This is why the centre is calling for 55 donations between January 16 and Australia Day.
“It’s really important we do meet those donations so that we have enough blood in our stock for the recipients around the nation that do need that blood," Felix said.
Felix is also concerned that up to 20 per cent of Australian donors cancel their appointments over the summer period.
“One in five people are likely to cancel or postpone their appointments over the summer months, potentially leaving blood supplies in the lurch.
"It is important that people are responsive and do follow through or at the very least let us know they're going to need to cancel so we can have a good idea of how much blood we will be able to collect and can respond to that,” Felix said.
Taree Blood Centre is also asking for more donations of plasma.
"Plasma is a component of your blood that is incredibly versatile and we use it to produce 18 different products. Those products are used in the treatment of cancer and blood disorders- there is a real push for that because there is so much demand,” Felix said.
The Red Cross Blood Service collects 25,000 litres of blood a week and is in need of consistent supply with the increased likelihood of road accidents during the holidays. A similar call for blood will take place before the winter months.
To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au