Member for East Metropolitan region Matthew Swinbourn is encouraging those eligible to give blood to do so as the country’s peak humanitarian aid body grapples with a significant drop in donors.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood chief executive Shelly Park has appealed for more than 14,000 people to donate, reiterating that it remained vital and was excluded from the current coronavirus (COVID-19) movement restrictions.
Mr Swinbourn shared a photograph of himself donating blood late last week in a bid to encourage others to follow suit.
Inspired by the Premier, Mr Swinbourn said he was compelled to stop thinking about it and do it, particularly after discovering that there had been a decrease in donations.
“My blood type is O Negative, which is often referred to as the universal blood type as it can be given to everyone, and in the past
I have been a regular donor,” he said.
“Some of my family members have had to have blood transfusions, so I am very aware of the importance of blood donors.
“Less donors obviously means that the blood reserves will become depleted, and while blood products are not generally needed for COVID-19 cases, all the usual demands on the blood service continue through this national emergency.
“That is, those that need blood products such as those that suffer a trauma, have cancer, anaemia or a number of other medical conditions, still need our donated blood regardless of the coronavirus.”
Despite the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation, Ms Park stressed that there were still patients who needed blood and were relying on people to make generous donations.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
With each donation expected to save at least three lives, Mr Swinbourn urged those apprehensive about donating to give it a go if they are not self-isolating.
To book an appointment, or find out more information, visit www.donateblood.com.au, or call 13 14 95.