Blood donors still needed during coronavirus pandemic

More than 10,000 donors needed to continue life-saving service.

The Australian Red Cross’ Lifeblood service has made an appeal for more than 10,000 people to donate blood over the next three weeks.

Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park said as blood and plasma donations were classified as vital, Queenslanders were able to continue visiting blood donation centres despite restrictions on movement.

“We need your help to keep Australia’s lifeblood flowing,” Ms Park said.

“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.

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

“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, while the current focus is rightly on coronavirus, cancer patients, car crash victims and emergency surgeries continued to require blood transfusions.

“Coronavirus does not stop the need for blood and plasma. It is a critical resource and demand for blood is constant and will continue to be,” 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.

“We would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has answered our call so far, however this will be an ongoing need and we urge everyone to make blood or plasma donation part of their immediate and ongoing plans.”

To book your donation visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.

Coronavirus changes to blood donation eligibility

  • Anyone who has been outside Australia must wait 28 days before they can donate blood.
  • Anyone with any cold or flu-like symptoms must wait until they’re fully recovered before donating. 
  • Anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus must wait 28 days before donating. 
  • Anyone who has had coronavirus will not be able to donate for three months after recovery. 
  • In the past, people with a mild runny nose with no fever have been allowed to donate plasma. People with minor cold-like symptoms must not donate plasma until they are recovered.