O-negative donors urgently needed

If you have O-negative blood now is the time to donate.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is urging 3000 people with O-negative blood to make a donation within the next fortnight as its reserves slip to just one day.

Medical students from Western Sydney University have teamed up to donate blood and encourage their friends and family to do so as well.

Program coordinator and student Thu Le said it was important for Fairfield residents to consider giving blood, especially O-negative people.

“One in three Australians will need blood at some point in their lives but only one in 30 people donate blood,” she said.

“It’s a pretty scary thought that there is only a limited amount of O-negative blood left.

“I would definitely encourage everyone to try and donate.”

An unpredictably long cold and flu season has impacted the number of regular donors who are available to give O-negative reserves.

Ms Le said this also impacted medical students.

She urged people who may have never donated before to step up and help.

“As medical students we have a natural tendency to help people so we always donate blood,” she said.

“We see first-hand how donated blood can be used to save peoples’ lives.”

Blood service spokesman Shaun Inguanzo urged O-negative donors to come forward and give blood by Friday, September 15 to help bolster supplies.

“O-negative is the universal type given to patients in emergency situations,” he said.

“With one in three of us needing donated blood in our lifetime the life you save could be that of a friend or family member.”

Mr Inguanzo said maintaining blood supplies during cold and flu season was a challenge for the blood service.

“The number of people suffering cold and flu symptoms greatly impacts the number of regular donors who are able to give,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this season has lasted longer than in previous years, so we need other O-negative donors to take the place of those who have been unable to give.”

Donors who are affected by cold and flu symptoms can give blood seven days after making a full recovery.

To support the Health Students Challenge and back the Western Sydney team request to fill in a form at the Blood Bank or fill in one online. 

To make an appointment or to find a venue to donate beforehand, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.