The Australian Red Cross has made an urgent call for type O blood donations amid an ongoing shortage.
Lifeblood, the Red Cross blood service, says an extra 500 donations of type O positive and O negative blood are needed every day for the next fortnight to boost supplies.
O negative is “the universal blood type”, meaning it can be used to treat patients with an unknown blood type.
Type O blood
O positive – the blood type of 40% of Australians – is used for most patients who need a blood transfusion.
However, less than 7% of the population are O negative. That’s the universal blood type often stocked in ambulances to treat trauma patients.
Despite more people donating than ever before, Lifeblood says demand has increased. It needs donations from an estimated 13 million eligible Australians, “to ensure we continue to meet the needs of patients across the country”.