19 Apr 2020

Blood donors urged to plan May, June bookings

8:19 pm on 19 April 2020

New Zealanders have continued to donate blood throughout the lockdown, to the joy of the Blood Service.

Role of nurses in blood services and donor sessions.  Nurse and blood donor at donation.

The blood service is mindful that more surgery may be undertaken within a few weeks. Photo: 123RF

New Zealand Blood Service spokesperson Asuka Burge said the service was grateful to all the donors who had continued to book appointments and then donated blood during the lockdown.

"We are hopeful we can continue to maintain healthy blood stock levels throughout the country's Covid-19 response, but we can't be complacent.

"Red blood cells only have a 35-day shelf life, so we still need donors to book appointments to donate blood, plasma and platelets in the upcoming months."

Earlier in the lockdown the Blood Service urged people to continue donating as normal, after there was a wave of cancellations.

"Demand for blood has shown some reduction due to a decrease in hospital activity, but New Zealand Blood Service still needs to collect about 3500 donations every week to be able to meet demand and be ready for when activity levels return to normal," Burge said.

Some locations are now fully booked for the rest of April, and people are being encouraged to book now for May and June appointments.

Travelling to a nearby blood centre is permitted as it's considered essential.

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