Healthy donors urged to keep giving blood

MILDURA'S blood donation centre needs more people to donate blood in the coming weeks to meet anticipated demand.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood on Thursday said blood donation centres had been experiencing a high number of cancellations in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, but blood and plasma donation remained "absolutely vital".

A spokesperson said the Mildura Donor Centre needed about 60 additional people to book in to donate blood over the next few weeks.

"If people have a donation booked it's so important they please attend if they're feeling well," the spokesperson said.

"We're experiencing a high number of cancellations at the moment and need people who are healthy to keep their donation bookings.

"We've had a great response from the community following our call for donors, however it is so important to remember the need for blood is constant and will still be there for donations."

The spokesperson said non-essential people were not being let into centres and only donors and staff were permitted.

As many states in Australia prepare to limit non-essential activities, it is important to remember blood and plasma donation remains vital and is excluded from any restrictions to people's movement.

"Donating blood and plasma remains an essential activity to keep blood flowing to patients across the country, and travel and venue restrictions do not prevent you from giving blood – we need you now more than ever."

Lifeblood chief executive Shelly Park said blood supplies were a critical resource and demand would continue to be constant.

"Even though this situation continues to change rapidly, there are still patients in hospital who need blood and are relying on people to continue making these generous donations," Ms Park said.

"There are currently, and will continue to be over the coming weeks and months, patients involved in road accidents who need large volumes of blood for transfusions, cancer patients who will still need support to survive their treatment, and there will still be women who experience complications while giving birth, as well as many others who rely on this precious resource.

"This will be an ongoing need and we urge everyone to make blood or plasma donation part of their immediate and ongoing plans.

"As healthcare settings, our blood donor centres are open and our teams are ready to welcome donors who are healthy and well."

The Lifeblood Mildura Donor Centre is at 168A Eighth Street and is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Donations can be booked online, call 131 495 or download the Donate Blood app.