THE community is being asked to roll up their sleeves following record blood donation cancellations.
The Warrnambool Blood Donor Centre saw 15 per cent of donors cancelling their donations last month, with eight per cent failing to turn up on the day.
Lifeblood spokeswoman Cath Stone said during the height of the pandemic Australians responded strongly to Lifeblood's appeals for blood donors, but now only one in every two appointments is being kept, with a third cancelled or rescheduled on the day.
"Australians are enjoying holidays, catching up with friends and family, and getting back to every day outings, but the need for blood never stops," she said.
"In fact, annual demand for blood is at its highest level in over a decade, with hospitals now using four per cent more blood than they did compared to the last two years.
"We understand that plans change so if you do need to cancel or reschedule, please contact Lifeblood as early as possible so we can find someone to take your place.
"There is no substitute for blood and we need every type, every day, to meet the needs of Australian patients who depend on it.
"There are always people in hospital needing blood for cancer treatment, surgery, blood disorders and obstetrics."
Warrnambool needs around 9000 blood and plasma donations this year, an increase of around 1000 from the previous year.
A blood donation is needed every 24 seconds in Australia, and a new blood donor is needed every five minutes in Australia.
To contribute, the Warrnambool centre needs 288 new blood donors this year.
Donors can check their eligibility to donate blood online.
The Warrnambool centre is now open Monday to Friday, plus every first and third Saturday of the month.
To book a donation call 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au or download the free Donate Blood app.
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