Blood donors urgently needed: Red Cross

The Australian Red Cross wants 22,000 more people to donate blood or plasma in the next fortnight.
The Australian Red Cross wants 22,000 more people to donate blood or plasma in the next fortnight.

The nation's stocks of blood and plasma are running critically low as hospitals tackle a pandemic-driven backlog and a decline in donors.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood on Tuesday issued an urgent plea for an extra 22,000 donors in the next two weeks.

All blood and plasma types are needed, but in particular O-, A-, A+ and B- blood types as these stocks are all running low.

Lifeblood Executive Director Cath Stone said there were fewer donors as well as an increase in elective surgery as hospitals deal with the backlog after thousands of operations were deferred during last year's coronavirus lockdowns.

"Hospital demand is up seven per cent compared to this time last year and we have around 10,000 fewer people donating now than we saw at the peak of the pandemic," Ms Stone said in a statement.

"We need more donors to roll up their sleeves to ensure fridges are well stocked. We have 22,000 extra appointments to fill during the next two weeks.

"We need all blood types every day."

Lifeblood needs 31,000 donations every week across Australia to help people undergoing trauma, surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.

Australian Associated Press