MORE than 120 people are still needed to donate blood in Midland this festive season to prevent a shortage of blood products vital for cancer patients.
Midland donors are among the many Australians busy with shopping and holidays, leading to a drop in donor numbers in the two weeks either side of Christmas.
The need 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.
Spokeswoman Jessica Willet said the Blood Service was launching its Christmas Blood Blitz to help fill Midland Blood Donor Centre’s 120 empty appointments between December 19 and January 2.
“With only four people booked in to donate at Midland on the December 27 public holiday, we really need more people from the community to roll up their sleeves this Christmas,” Ms Willet said.
“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 stockpiled, 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.”
Kalamunda resident Wayne Garwood has made 104 donations of plasma at the Blood Bank so far.
Ms Willet said a blood donation was a gift that money could not buy because it enabled people to spend time with those they love most.
Midland Blood Donor Centre is open Mondays to Fridays over the Christmas break, including Boxing Day and December 27.