Desperate times for local blood bank

CHRISTMAS gifts come in all shapes and sizes, but what about giving the gift of life this festive season?

Tamworth needs more than 340 donors to give blood this Christmas and New Year to secure blood stocks for cancer patients over the holidays.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is concerned most regular donors will take an extended holiday this festive season leading to a major drop in platelets, the shortest-lived blood product that is critical in the treatment of cancer patients.

To counter the expected loss, the blood service has launched a blood blitz campaign to boost donations between December 23 and January 3 – the time when donations could hit a critical low.

Spokeswoman Jemma Falkenmire said platelets were vital for the treatment of cancer patients, but only had a shelf  life of five days.

“We know Christmas is an important time for Tamworth residents to spend with family and friends, but spare a thought for the many Australians who have a loved one in hospital in need of blood, with the hope of spending another Christmas together. For them, the perfect Christmas gift would be blood; the gift of life.”

With two public holidays and a weekend, it is vital that Tamworth donors make an appointment to give blood before Christmas Eve and the days immediately after Boxing Day to help replenish platelet stock, Ms Falkenmire said.

“Every donation helps to save as many as three lives, and Christmas is the perfect time to give back to the community,” she said.

To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au

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