With national blood reserves having plummeted to only two moredays worth of supply, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service has issued an urgent plea for 8,000 Australians to donate O-type blood over the next two weeks.

Speaking to the ABC on May 23, 2017, Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokeswoman, Jessica Willet explained “type O blood is very important because O-negative is a universal-type blood, it can be given to patients in an emergency, so we go through a lot of it.

“And similarly, O-positive is one of the most common types of blood, 39 per cent of Australians have it, which means we also need a lot of that.”

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service cited the ensuing flu season as a pivotal factor for their urgent plea. Approximately 1,000 donors nation-wide cancel their appointments throughout winter each year, often due to illness.

Red Cross Blood Service spokesman, Shaun Inguanzo emphasised the necessity of blood donations in a separate statement to the Brisbane Times [May 23, 2017].

“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.”

Blood donations contribute to a variety of medical and trauma treatments. According to the Red Cross Blood Service website, the majority of donated blood (34 per cent) is used in treatments for cancer and blood diseases.

Donorscan either give whole blood, plasma, or platelets. Whole blood can be stored for only 42 days, necessitating the steady stream of donations from those who meet eligibility criteria. To donate whole blood, you must be aged 16-70 years, weigh more than 50 kilograms, and be fit and healthy.

Visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/donate to find a donor centre near you.