2020 has been an undeniably crazy year so far. But, despite all the intensity, it has opened up opportunities for us to give back and support one another like never before.
Whether you've begun to make a conscious effort to recycle more, or educated yourself further on how a plant-based diet can ultimately better the world, it's fair to say we've all tried to make changes in our lives that could benefit the lives of others now or in the future.
Blood is one of the most essential resources those at risk need right now. As the need for blood doesn't stop, our supplies are dropping nationwide - a frightening thought for our medical professionals.
According to Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, there are currently 500,000 Australians who donate blood, but, there are so many more who are eligible to donate. With surgical patients, pregnant mothers and more in need of blood every day, here's why right now should be the time to make a life-saving step that'll only take up an hour of your day.
Cold and Flu Season Is Almost Here — and Coronavirus Will Exacerbate the Situation
Cold and flu season is never short of difficult for those in our communities who are immuno-compromised. Each year in Australia, around 13,500 people are hospitalised because of the flu. In 2020, with the outbreak of COVID-19 at the helm, these numbers will inevitably rise.
According to Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park, the current pandemic could put pressure on the nation's blood supplies, in the instance of donations becoming disrupted due to regular donors needing to self-isolate following recent holidays and tighter eligibility around keeping donor centres safe.
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.
Australia's Blood Supplies Could Be Under Threat
Donated blood only lasts 42 days — and with donation numbers decreasing, our current supply could absolutely be under threat.
Park noted that during January and February, there was a generous spike in donations in response to the Australian bushfire crisis, however around 29,000 blood and plasma donations are needed each and every week nationally to meet demands. As donors need to wait 12-weeks before their next appointment, it's imperative that others who are yet to donate blood this year step up and help their fellow Australians out.
"Last minute cancellations are also putting a dent in blood stocks at a time when donors are in urgent need. As we all know, there is no substitute for blood. It is a critical resource, and right now, we need more people booking appointments to donate," stressed Park.
Blood Donor Centres Are Always Safe and Sterile
Although the anxiety surrounding our own health is heightened during times like this, the team at Lifeblood urge you to honour your appointment to donate if healthy. Lifeblood has assured that there is no evidence coronavirus is transmittable by blood transfusion, and all centres employ hospital-grade cleaning efforts to ensure sterility and safety for all. Blood donation is essential, so they're not going anywhere!
"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. We need your help to keep Australia's lifeblood flowing," added Park.
The need for blood never stops (and it's a compassionate need, if you were wondering about the government's COVID-19 restrictions). With more people in need than ever before, it could be your next effort in helping the world become a better place for all.
If you're feeling well, and haven't travelled overseas in the last 28 days, you could be eligible to donate. To make an appointment, visit Lifeblood or call 13 14 95.