THE Red Cross Blood Donor Centre has put out an urgent call to people in the Canning region to donate blood ahead of the festive season, revealing just 10 people had booked to give blood over the entire Christmas break.
WA is the nation’s worst donor state, and within the Canning area, 110 people are still needed to donate blood between Christmas and New Year.
Blood donations prevent a shortage of blood products and the demand for blood never stops; with one product vital to cancer treatment – platelets – having a shelf life of just a few days, meaning a constant supply throughout the festive season is needed.
Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said the Red Cross was launching a Christmas ‘blood blitz’ to fill appointments.
“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,” she said.
“Cancer patients are the biggest users of donated blood and rely on platelets to make it through chemotherapy.
“The problem is platelets cannot be stock-piled, so we need a constant, fresh supply as anything collected before Christmas Eve will have expired or run-out long before New Year’s Eve.”
Cannington donors are among the millions of Australians busy with Christmas shopping and holidays, leading to a worrying drop in donor numbers during the traditional Christmas shutdown period and Ms Willett urged the community to make time to roll up their sleeves.
“With only 10 people booked in to donate blood at Cannington on Thursday 29 December, we really need more people from the community to (donate) this Christmas,” Ms Willet said.
“With WA alone set to spend $5.3 billion leading up to Christmas, the greatest gift of all will cost you just an hour of your time and could help to save three lives.”
Cannington Blood Donor Centre is open Monday-Friday throughout the Christmas break, including the public holidays on Boxing Day, December 27 and 2 January.
To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.