Lifeblood Goulburn are in desperate need of 50 additional whole blood donors over the next two weeks.
Statewide an extra 3000 people are needed to donate blood with cancellations and no-shows on the rise. As lockdowns lift, surgeries recommence, and police report a spike in road trauma, Lifeblood has asked people to make saving lives part of their new normal.
Christine Bernays, who is part of the St Nicholas Anglican Church Lifeblood team, encouraged everyone who was able to donate.
She said donations were "always needed and easy to do".
"It's something I can do to give back," Ms Bernays said.
The grandmother has even encouraged her grandchildren to roll up their sleeves and donate as soon as they turn 18.
Ms Bernays said in addition to saving lives, there were "great snacks afterwards". The dedicated donor sipped on a freshly made milkshake as she sat in a donor chair.
Executive director of donor services Cath Stone said half of all blood donation appointments were not being attended, while hospital demand was at its highest point in a decade.
"Our donors have shown us incredible support over the last two years, however as life moves to COVID-normal, it's important that people continue to donate to help ensure hospitals can continue to treat patients," she said.
"There is no alternative for patients in need of blood and we'd like to remind donors, and anyone who has thought about becoming a donor, just how critical they are."
In particular, Lifeblood's reserves of O-negative blood have been challenged, the number of O-negative donors fell over the pandemic despite increased hospital demand.
O-negative is the universal blood type and can be given to anyone in an emergency, like those involved in road accidents, when there simply isn't time to find out their blood type.
Ms Stone said "only nine per cent of Australians had O-negative blood, but it made up 16 per cent of orders from hospitals because it saves lives in emergencies".
"We currently have 1000 fewer active O-negative donors than we did over a year ago and we would particularly like to welcome those previous donors back to our donor centres," she said.
"We have extended opening hours in our centres and have more appointments available for donors than ever before. If you are feeling well, not waiting on a COVID-19 test and haven't been told to isolate please book a donation.
"With one in three of us needing donated blood or blood products in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of a friend or family member."
To book a donation visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the free DonateBlood App.
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a daily email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.