Winter takes toll on blood donor supplies

Donor service nursing assistant Elaine Robson with Glenda Lee, of Carlisle.
Donor service nursing assistant Elaine Robson with Glenda Lee, of Carlisle.

As many as 1000 blood donors a week are cancelling or rescheduling appointments nationally due to colds and flu, with a 60 per cent increase in influenza cases for the same time last year.

WA needs 1600 more donors over this month to keep blood supplies well stocked.

Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said the extraordinary number of cancellations could have a worrying impact on blood supplies.

‘Our biggest concern is that flu season hasn’t even peaked, and so it will be difficult to attract new donors if we leave it too late,’ Ms Willet said.

Blood is used for cancer patients, road trauma victims, people with blood disorders, people with autoimmune disorders and those undergoing emergency surgery.