Blood supplies are critical



LOCAL blood supplies have reached critical levels.

New Gladstone blood service manager Lesley Mason said local support for the blood service was desperately needed.

"There are simply not enough donors to meet the community's need...'' she said.

A local blood drive called Target 500 was launched at the end of last year to help attract new donors.

The campaign attracted more than 500 people in five weeks, however since it ended the local support has declined.

"There were groups that started donating during the campaign, but they haven't kept it up unfortunately,'' Ms Mason said.

O positive is the blood type needed most, with just over a day's supply available nationwide.

"Forty per cent of people have O positive blood type, which means there is an ongoing demand for supplies of products from this blood group,'' Ms Mason said.

The Australian Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to increase regular donor numbers.

As part of the campaign Gladstone is trying to attract an extra 190 new donors by the end of the July.

Ms Mason said with the flu season fast approaching, extra supplies of blood were needed to meet demand.

Ms Mason said the Gladstone blood bank operated on Tuesdays from 2pm to 8pm and Wednesdays from 9.30am to 11.30am.



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