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Monday, July 15, 2024
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Urgent call for blood donations as stocks drop

QUEENSLANDERS with Type O blood are being urged to book a donation within the next two weeks as stocks of both blood types reach their lowest point in a year.

An extra 1,000 Queenslanders are needed – 70 donations of O positive and O negative blood every single day over the next fortnight to boost supplies for patients in need.

Australian Red Cross 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.

“These two blood types are essential, 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.”

Meanwhile O Positive 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,” Ms Smetioukh said.

“We’re asking people to talk to their family members and encourage them to donate.”

To book a donation call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au or download the Donate Blood app.

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Murder mystery dinner for good cause and Fire ban extended as crews battle blazes.

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