Blood bank in crisis mode

BLOOD-THIRSTY: Premier Bligh is a regular donor. cont
BLOOD-THIRSTY: Premier Bligh is a regular donor. cont

DESPITE nationwide shortages of blood stocks, a donor centre in Emerald is not a viable option according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, which states a shortage of qualified nursing staff and transportation issues as major reasons.

The National Blood Bank is in crisis mode, national stocks have plummeted to a severe low, especially for the universal O-negative blood type, of which there is at best three days supply left in Queensland.

Stocks of all blood types have dropped by 18 per cent across the nation in the past month.

Emerald Hospital discontinued its state-run blood donor service in 2009, sighting a dwindling number of donors as the major reason. The nearest donor option for Emerald residents is the Red Cross Blood Bank in Rockhampton.

Australian Red Cross Blood Service marketing officer Belinda Haynes said a blood donor centre in Emerald was not a feasible option.

“In remote locations, there are logistical issues around the transportation and storage of blood which must be sent back to Brisbane for testing and processing … blood needs to be back in our processing centre within 24-hours to be tested and separated into the necessary components,” she said.

Former Central Highlands Health Service director of nursing Lyn Zeller said in emergencies, the Royal Flying Doctor Service would bring more blood to Emerald.

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