All we want for Christmas is... your blood

CANCER patients urgently need the help of healthy Ipswich blood donors during the Christmas and New Year period.

Ipswich still needs more than 120 blood donations over the coming weeks in order to prevent a shortage of blood products vital to the treatment of cancer patients.

Ipswich donors are among the millions of busy Australians taking time for Christmas shopping and holidays, leading to a worrying drop in donor numbers from now through to the end of the year.

Platelets are vital to cancer treatment but have a shelf-life of just a few days, meaning cancer patients need a constant supply throughout the festive season.

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Red Cross Blood Service spokeswomen Amanda Sims said the organisation was launching its national Christmas 'Blood Blitz' to help fill the more than 120 appointments at Ipswich Donor Centre still needed between Monday December 19 and Saturday January 7.

"Thousands of Australian patients will need blood this Christmas and New Year just to have the hope of spending those moments with friends and family," she said.

"Cancer patients are the biggest users of donated blood and rely on platelets to make it through chemotherapy.

"The problem is platelets cannot be stock-piled, so we need a constant, fresh supply as anything collected by Christmas Day will have expired or run-out early next week."

Make an appointment to give at Ipswich Donor Centre by calling 13 14 95 or visiting www.donateblood.com.au



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