Australia is in the midst of a ‘bailer boom’ according to new research released by Australian Red Cross Lifeblood – which is issuing a call to arms to boost blood donor ranks.
Lifeblood-commissioned research reveals 79 per cent of people have experienced a social hangover in the past month, with more than half admitting they had cancelled plans at the last minute.
Earlier this month, Lifeblood announced a record high spike in blood donation no shows, with half of the nation’s blood donation appointments not being attended.
As a result, a new campaign is urging people to take the Bloody Oath and make a promise to donate blood.
Lifeblood’s executive director of donor services Cath Stone said 140,000 new blood donors were needed in 2022 to meet the needs of patients across Australia – an increase of 45 per cent.
“We are extremely grateful that donors have continued to roll up their sleeves during the pandemic and ensure patients receive the blood and blood products they need, but our existing donors can’t do it alone,” Ms Stone said.
“We want to harness the mateship and generosity that carried us through the pandemic and build a community of blood donors who are there to give hope, give joy, give second chances, and ultimately, give life.
“With almost half of people surveyed predicting their social calendars will get even busier as they head into the festive season, now is the time to make blood donation a priority.”
In the wake of recent cancellations, Lifeblood surveyed people across the country to find out how they were feeling about social and other engagements.
Key reasons for the growing social fatigue were attributed to adjusting to normal social activities following extended isolated periods (37 per cent), the end of lockdowns being adjoined with the busy festive season (26 per cent), and over-committing to plans in a bid to make up for time lost while in lockdown (24 per cent).
More than a quarter of respondents admitted they would cancel a blood donation if they had a ‘social hangover’, despite the need for 33,000 donations every week.
Ms Stone said blood demand was currently at a ten-year high.
“There are now more than three million extra people living in Australia than ten years ago, but the number of people who donate hasn’t changed,” she said.
“We rely on the same number of donors today to maintain a blood supply for an additional three million people.
“We need more donors to sign up, and for our existing donors to roll up their sleeves more often.”
The act of donating blood is taking the Bloody Oath, but donors can recite the oath at any time and they’re welcome to help spread the word by sharing a social post with their bandaged arm up after their donation.
The Bloody Oath:
I hereby swear to be the lifeblood of Australia.
Of community and country.
To give what I can, as often as I can.
Even when I don’t feel like it. Or if I’m scared.
And if I give excuses, don’t take them.
Hold me to my word.
Because Australia needs me.
To give hope.
Give second chances.
To give life.
Do I promise to be a blood donor?
Bloody oath, I do.
To book a donation phone 13 14 95, visit lifeblood.com.au, or download the free DonateBlood app.