All you have to do is give the ball an occasional squeeze and you are on your way to saving lives.
All you have to do is give the ball an occasional squeeze and you are on your way to saving lives. Zeljko Bozic

Blood call goes out as stocks run low

THE "BLOOD signal" has been activated and donors with "super-blood" are needed in Gladstone.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokesperson Barry Lynch said the blood signal was a call for more blood donors across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

He said the signal was like the bat signal, and showed the situation was dire.

"We're particularly low in O negative, with less than two days' supply and O positive, with less than three days' supply left," Mr Lynch said yesterday.

People with O negative blood have super-blood which can be used by everyone.

The 9% of the population that has O negative can only receive that type.

Mr Lynch said the bad cold and flu season had hit supplies hard.

"We're unable to take blood from people who are suffering from cold and flu symptoms," he said.

Most people between 16 and 70, if they're feeling fit and healthy should be able to donate.

However, if you've had a tattoo recently or have been travelling you might be asked to wait a few days before donating.

Mr Lynch said most of the blood type supplies were lower than Red Cross would like and that anyone with any blood type should donate if they could.

Mr Lynch said every single donation saved three lives.

"Without the donations cancer patients, trauma victims, pregnant women and young babies can't get the blood they desperately need," he said.

"It's not always patients, blood products go into the manufacturing of immunisations."

He said the process wasn't painful.

"If you roll up the sleeve of your sleeve and pinch the inside of your elbow with your fingernails, that's what it feels like, and after that you don't feel a thing."

And he said the Gladstone Blood Bank, which is located at Gladstone Hospital, was staffed by fun and friendly people.

"We try and make the process as pleasant as possible," he said.



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