AS many Australians make plans to watch the race that stops the nation, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is urging donors not to forget about blood donation.
The Midland Blood Donor Centre has nearly 100 appointments still needing to be filled during Melbourne Cup week, with appointments on the day of the big race less than half full.
With a shelf-life of only five days, the platelet component of blood plays a vital role in the treatment of cancer patients. The Blood Service is concerned platelets from blood donations could run low by the time the last race is run on Melbourne Cup Day.
Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said while most people loved to place a bet on the Melbourne Cup, the odds of someone needing blood in their lifetime were high.
“One in three Australians will need blood or a blood product in their lifetime, yet only one in 30 donates,” she said.
“The Melbourne Cup is the race that stops the nation, but it shouldn’t be the race that stops blood donation,” she said.
“We’re asking people to continue donating during the Melbourne Cup week to ensure the supply of this life-saving gift.”
The Blood Service is hoping to welcome 20,000 new donors by Christmas to meet Australia’s growing and diversifying population needs.
The Midland Blood Donor Centre is located at 233 Great Eastern Highway, Midland and is open from Sunday to Friday every week.
To make an appointment to donate call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au