The Australian Red Cross is in ‘critical need’ of O-negative blood donors.

Are you O-negative blood type? The Australian Red Cross Blood service needs you urgently.

While the positives of winter mean more nights spent in watching Netflix, each year the cold and rainy season poses a seriously negative side effect when it comes to blood donation: there’s just not enough blood.

“The number of people suffering cold and flu symptoms increases, limiting the number of regular donors who are able to give,” says Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokesman Shaun Inguanzo.

“Around the country, we are seeing as many as 1000 people cancel their [donor] appointments every day, almost half of them due to illness.”

Right now, the nation’s O-negative reserve has slipped to just two days’ supply.

Around nine per cent of the Australian population have an O-negative blood type, but 100 per cent of the population can use it.

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“O-Negative is the universal type given to patients in emergency situations, when their blood type is unknown,” Inguanzo said.

“Australian patients need around 500 O-Negative donations a day to survive these situations.” 

As a result, the Blood Service are urging people, particularly those with O-negative blood, to roll up their sleeves and donate in place of the regular donors who have the cold or flu.

One blood donation can save three lives.

It’s recommended that donors affected by cold or flu symptoms wait at least seven days after making a full recovery before giving blood.

“With one in three of us needing donated blood in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of friend or family member,” says Inguanzo.

To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au/make-appointment There are some restrictions on who can donate blood – check your eligibility here.

Image: Facebook/Australian Red Cross Blood Service

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