MORE than 150 people are still needed to book in to donate blood in Rockingham during this festive season to prevent a shortage of blood products vital for cancer patients.
Rockingham donors are among the millions of Australians busy with Christmas shopping and holidays, leading to a worrying drop in donor numbers in the two weeks either side of Christmas.
Yet 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 Rockingham Blood Donor Centre’s 150 empty appointments between December 19 and 30.
“With only four people booked in to donate blood at Rockingham on Thursday, 29 December, 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 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.”
Ms Willet said a blood donation was a gift that money could not buy because it allowed people to spend time with those they love most.
“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,” she said.
Rockingham Blood Donor Centre is open Monday to Friday throughout the Christmas break, excluding public holidays (closed December 26 to 27 and January 2). To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.