We need blood

IMAGINE you are in a car accident and need a blood transfusion to survive, but the doctors tell you they're sorry, there's been a shortage of donors lately and no blood is available today.

How terrifying.

While this scenario is unlikely, right now the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) only has two day's supply available in many of the main blood types.

Types A and O are at critically low levels, but the ARCBS are in urgent need of donors of all blood types.

So this is your chance to ensure somebody's future and donate a bit of blood.

You'll not only get a milkshake and muffin for your troubles, you'll also have the satisfaction of knowing you might save as many as three lives.

The only discomfort is a pinprick, and within two days your blood will be back to its original level, so you won't know the difference.

The ARCBS says that increased demand and falling donations over the Easter period have brought down the supply, while an expected increase in demand over the school holidays and Anzac Day long weekend is further adding to the pressure.

"We're asking the community for increased support during this difficult time so we can continue to meet the needs of local patients for all people requiring blood," head of the Red Cross Blood Service in NSW Sharon Callister said.

Whatever blood type you are, your donation will be invaluable.

O negative blood can be given to a recipient of any blood type, so it is vital in emergency situations when there is no time to check the patient's blood type.

Some blood types are also compatible with others, so in life-threatening situations, if the required blood type is unavailable, a patient may be given another.

Appointments are essential to prevent delays. Call 13 14 95 to book yours.

While the actual donation only takes a few minutes, the appointment could take an hour, especially for your first donation, so allow a bit of time.

The Coffs Harbour collection centre is located at 72 Victoria Street. You will need to show identification.

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