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NZBS Appeals Urgently for Blood Donors

Media release

14 June 2001

NZBS Appeals Urgently for Blood Donors - Donor Numbers Weakening in Winter

The New Zealand Blood Service is issuing an urgent appeal for Blood Donors.

The national inventory is approaching minimum acceptable levels of group O and A blood, and all blood groups are needed. Nationally, reserves have fallen significantly over the past 7-10 days.

An additional 200-300 donors are needed this week and next, raising the weekly collection levels to 3,200-3,300, according to Dr Peter Flanagan, NZBS National Medical Director.

"We are only just meeting clinical demand at present, and we urgently need to increase supplies," said Dr Flanagan. "We've been struggling for about a month to maintain inventory levels. We need Donors to come in regardless of what the weather is like. Every year, the onset of winter poses challenges, and that's what we are up against just now. I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with our levels of group O and A, the two most common groups, because they haven't responded to our normal Donor recruitment measures."

Last November, NZBS issued a call for Donors to compensate for a period of high use and dropping inventory levels. The present situation is equally concerning, Dr Flanagan said.

Various NZBS locations will be open some evenings and Saturday mornings in the immediate future. Active Donors, lapsed Donors and people wanting to donate for the first time should ring 0800 GIVEBLOOD (0800 448 325) for more information.

ends

Released for the New Zealand Blood Service by Bill Moore, PRaxis Public Relations, 09 373-5068, 025-769-654. Please ring Bill to arrange interviews with Dr Flanagan.


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