Locals are being urged to roll up their sleeves and donate blood as the bushfire crisis continues, and the holidays get closer.
At the height of the fire emergency last week the Australian Red Cross Blood Service was forced to close donor centres at Taree, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, and the pop-up centre at Byron Bay.
Blood Service spokesperson Helen Walsh said they were looking to the rest of the country to help fill the gaps and ensure blood supplies stay strong.
“With blood being a critical resource, we simply cannot afford to take a wait and watch approach and are calling for donors to please roll up their sleeves, now, in order to bolster the nation’s blood stocks,” she said.
New South Wales and Queensland make up over half of the nation’s blood supplies.
Appointments are available in unaffected areas. Call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au to find your nearest donor centre and book your appointment.
“Many people don’t realise the Blood Service is a truly national service with blood products shared around the country,” Ms Walsh said.
“So please, if you are eligible to donate, make an appointment at any blood donor centre in Australia and you will be helping maintain our stock levels in the face of these catastrophic fires.”
She said her thoughts were with Blood Service employees, donors and all those who are affected by the bushfires.
“We are doing everything we can to support our regional customers with the potential need for increased supplies and the transfer of supplies interstate,” Ms Walsh added.
In addition to the fires, the upcoming holiday season is also likely to spark a shortage of blood supplies as people head off on holidays or escape their usual routines.