More than 75 volunteers will be needed to give blood at the Terrigal and Kincumber mobile donor services between Christmas and New Year to prevent a shortage of blood products vital to the treatment of cancer and trauma patients.
Terrigal and Kincumber donors are among the millions of busy Australians taking time for Christmas shopping and holidays, leading to a worrying drop in donor numbers in late December. Yet the need for blood never stops, with one product vital to cancer treatment – platelets – having a shelf-life of just a few days, meaning cancer patients need a constant supply throughout the festive season.
Spokesperson, Mr Ronny Maroun, said the organisation had launched a national Christmas Blood Blitz to help fi ll the appointments at Terrigal and Kincumber Mobile Blood Services needed between December 22 and 30. “Thousands of Australian patients will need blood this Christmas and New Year just to have the hope of spending those moments with friends and family,” said Mr Maroun. “Cancer patients are the biggest users of donated blood and rely on platelets to make it through chemotherapy,” he said. “The problem is platelets cannot be stock-piled, so we need a constant, fresh supply as anything collected by Christmas Day will have expired or run-out early the following week.” Mr Maroun said a blood donation was a gift that money couldn’t buy because it allowed people to spend time with those they love most. With Australians set to spend $48.1 billion leading up to Christmas, the greatest gift of all will cost you just an hour of your time and could help to save or improve three lives.
Media release, Dec 12, 2016 Jemma Falkenmire, Australian Red Cross Blood Service