Queenslanders, particularly those with Type O blood, are being urged to roll up their sleeves and donate as stocks drop to their lowest point in a year.
A desperate call-out has been issued by the Australian Red Cross, with an extra 1000 Queenslanders with Type O blood needed to donate over the next fortnight to boost supplies.
That’s 70 donations of O positive and O negative blood needed every single day for the next two weeks.
Lifeblood spokesperson Belinda Smetioukh said demand for both O blood types was continuing to increase, despite more people donating than ever before.
“This year we’ve seen demand increase by more than three per cent, making it the highest in a decade, and we expect it to continue to grow in the coming years,” she said.
“To ensure we continue to meet the needs of patients across the country, we need everyone who is eligible – more than 13 million people nationwide – to become blood and plasma donors.
“We also need our existing donors to donate more often. If they could give just one more donation each year it would make a huge difference, especially to lives of those who receive it.”
Ms Smetioukh said O positive and O negative were the blood types most frequently ordered by hospitals.
“O Negative is the universal blood type and is used to treat patients when their blood type is unknown,” she said.
“It’s often stocked in ambulances and rescue helicopters to be used to treat trauma patients who can require huge quantities of blood in a short amount of time.
“Fewer than seven per cent of the Australian population is O Negative, making it one of the rarer blood types, however, its versatility means it makes up 16 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals.
“O Positive, meanwhile, is the most common blood type in the community, with 40 per cent of people having this blood type, meaning it’s the type most needed by patients should they require a blood transfusion.
“Around 50 per cent of people in Australia have type O blood, so if you have one of these blood types there’s a good chance someone in your family will too”.
To book a donation call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au or download the Donate Blood app.