Gunnedah residents are being urged to roll up their sleeves and give blood following a sudden spike in demand.
The Blood Service is running low across all major blood groups, but is particularly worried about stock of O negative and O positive.
“O negative is the universal blood type that can be given to anyone in an emergency, and O positive is the most common blood type in the country: more than 40 per cent of Australians would need O positive blood in the event of a transfusion,” Blood Service spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said.
“The problem is that up to 1000 donors a week are cancelling their donations due to cold and flu symptoms, and to make matters worse, we’ve had a recent spike in demand for blood.”
Supplies aren’t at critical levels yet but are dangerously low, sparking a call to arms for potential donors.
The Blood Service is now activating its Blood Signal on social media – one of the quickest and most effective ways of reaching new donors.
“The Blood Signal means that we need donors now,” he said.
“We liken the Blood Signal to the Bat Signal: that is, we hope Australian donors will see it as a call-to-action to rise to the occasion.
“Even if you can’t donate, you can share the Blood Signal to encourage friends to give in your place thanks to the power of social media.
“Every donation you make or help encourage can help save three lives, including those of cancer patients, unborn babies, mothers giving birth, road trauma victims, burns victims, and people who need kidney dialysis,” Mr Inguanzo said.
The Gunnedah Blood Bank visits the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club every two weeks.
Yesterday, Gunnedah Shire Council employees Kim Stone and Catherine Carr did their bit for the campaign.
It was Catherine’s 10th time donating blood and Kim’s fifth.
“I saw a need for it and our employer is supporting us as well,” Kim said.
“My mum and dad have always donated and that inspired me, along with the fact my team mate Catherine gave blood as well.
“I’m a bit of an advocate now.
“It doesn’t take long at all.
“They’re really professional. Even though it’s not a standard set-up and they’re not here every day, the staff are really professional,” Kim said.
To learn more about the Blood Signal, visit bloodsignal.com.au
To make an appointment to give blood, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au