Blood donations needed to meet major shortfall at local centres
BLOOD donation centres across the country are urging those who can donate blood to do so.
The Red Cross is dealing with mass cancellations due to COVID-19 with 900 cancellations per day across the country.
The Lismore Donor Centre needs an extra 350 donations of blood and plasma to meet demand in the next few weeks.
"Coronavirus does not stop the need for blood and plasma," spokeswoman Belinda Smetioukh 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 donors now more than ever."
Blood Donor Centres have robust processes in place to ensure the safety of donors, and have introduced a number of new safety measures including social distancing, additional cleaning and further travel deferrals.
Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader who recently donated blood in Ballina said many of the volunteers were no longer able to help out due to their age, with the government advising people over 70 to stay home.
Ballina Council employee volunteers have been stepping into that role.
She said the beauty of donating now is that you can find out how your donation has helped.
"It is always lovey to receive their message by text after you donate," Cr Cadwallader said. "Messages like 'your plasma donation has just given 18 people lifesaving treatment and your blood donation is on its way to a certain hospital', are so encouraging."
To donate blood call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.