The Allan Labor Government is urging all eligible Victorians to give the life-saving gift of blood this Christmas to ensure supplies don’t run low over the festive season.
As the festive season approaches, the Allan Labor Government is calling on eligible Victorians to step up and make a life-saving contribution by donating blood. With demand for blood and blood products reaching a decade-high level, Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas visited the Melbourne CBD Blood Donor Centre to rally support and ensure ample supplies during the festive season.
Lifeblood, the national blood service, reports a typical drop in donations during the holiday period as regular donors take a break. The most critical period is between 22 December and 2 January, with A and O blood types in particularly high demand.
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Minister Mary-Anne Thomas highlighted the ongoing need for blood, emphasising that emergencies and medical treatments don’t take a holiday. The decline in donations during this period can have severe consequences for patients, including those involved in road trauma, surgeries, childbirth, and cancer treatment.
Lifeblood currently has numerous vacant appointments over the next two weeks at its 18 donor centres across Melbourne and major regional centres. In an effort to make donating as convenient as possible, Lifeblood’s Caulfield, Bundoora, Frankston, and Melbourne CBD centres are open every day throughout the holiday season, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
A pop-up donor centre has also been set up at Highpoint Shopping Centre, providing an opportunity for people to donate while completing last-minute Christmas shopping.
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Given that red blood cells only last 42 days from donation and one in three people will need blood or blood products in their lifetime, every donation plays a crucial role in providing life-saving treatment to Victorians in need.
Across Australia, Lifeblood aims to collect 33,000 donations per week to meet growing demand, requiring approximately 135,000 donations in December alone.
Minister Mary-Anne Thomas expressed gratitude to the hardworking team at Lifeblood and all Victorian donors, acknowledging their generosity in saving and improving the lives of some of the most seriously ill individuals in the state.
Under the National Blood Agreement, the Allan Labor Government, in collaboration with the Commonwealth and other states and territories, allocated over $1.5 billion in 2022/23 to ensure Lifeblood has access to blood and blood products when and where they’re needed.
To find a blood donor centre near you, call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au, or download the Donate Blood app.