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Blood service pleading for eligible donors

The New Zealand Blood Service has seen up to a 30 per cent increase in the number of cancellations and ‘no shows’ in the past week. File photo.

New Zealand Blood Service is asking eligible, fit and healthy New Zealander’s to book an appointment to donate blood.

The service has seen up to a 30 per cent increase in the number of cancellations and ‘no shows’ in the past week, possibly because of COVID-19 concerns amongst donors.

“We are asking all eligible healthy blood donors to book an appointment, and keep commitments to donate blood,” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications, New Zealand Blood Service.

“NZBS needs to collect 3500 donations every week to keep up with demand across the country, and we are seeing an increasing number of cancellations and empty chairs in our donor centres.

“Our donor centres are safe places to visit, and we are taking all necessary steps to ensure this stays that way.”

NZBS has strict blood donor screening measures in place, which include travel deferrals, to ensure individuals who are unwell, or have recently travelled to high-risk countries are deferred from donating.

“Absolutely, if a donor is feeling unwell, they should reschedule or cancel their appointment, but please let us know.

"Every no-show or cancelled appointment impacts the blood supply and the availability of blood to treat patients in hospitals. If we know someone is not coming, we can try to fill their appointment space.

“Unlike toilet paper, blood cannot be stockpiled. Whole blood has a shelf life of just 35 days, which means we must ensure we can continue to meet demand on a weekly basis.

'Our current concern is that without a steady number of donations, the blood supply may run into critical levels. This is why we need fit, healthy, eligible Kiwis to book appointments and continue to donate.”

To book an appointment to donate visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325.

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