The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is appealing for more people to give blood, as supplies plummet to less than three days' coverage.
"We have just 2.2 days' supply of all blood types," said Blood Service spokeswoman Kathy Bowlen.
"We aim to have six days' supply at all times, to ensure we have blood for patients who need it, so this is a real concern for us.
"We have been on a downward donation trend since February. In the four months to May, we had almost 27,000 fewer appointments than needed.
"In effect, it's as though we have missed an entire week of donations. And yet, the number of patients who rely on that blood are just as constant as ever."
"It's been a difficult year for the blood supply, and with colds and flu now stopping regular donors coming in, we really need more help to build stocks now," Ms Bowlen said.
The Blood Service is calling on former donors, or anyone who has thought about becoming a donor, to make the commitment, and call the Australian Red Cross Blood Service today.
"One in three people will need blood in their lifetime, but only one in 30 Australians donate. Right now we are all relying on too few Australians to keep the blood supplies flowing.
"We need to bolster blood stocks now, and we can't do that without community support," she said.
Ms Bowlen said it was unclear why there had been a downturn in donations, but urged people to try this life-saving act.
"Every blood donation saves three lives, and the life you save might be that of someone you love."
"Cancer patients, people undergoing surgery, pregnant women and unborn babies all require donated blood. There is no substitute for blood and it's needed every day."
Days of Blood Supply Held by Blood Service
National 2.2VIC 2.2
ACT 3.9To donate, call 13 14 95.
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