Regular, new donors urged to give blood

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Blood donations are as necessary as ever, and Waitaki residents are encouraged to donate when the mobile collection unit arrives in town next month.

The New Zealand Blood Service unit will be at the Oamaru Club for three days from June 9.

Donor relations co-ordinator Lynn Rodeka said due to Covid-19, the Southern Mobile blood schedule had to be radically changed, which meant it was able to stay in Oamaru for a longer period of time. Blood collection has continued during the lockdown period, as demand for blood and plasma is constant.

“Even when the whole country was in lockdown, it was still essential that New Zealanders kept donating,” Mrs Rodeka said.

“Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we were able to continue collecting blood within the safety guidelines to maintain healthy blood stock levels.”

Type O- was always most in demand, as it could be given to anybody, but all types were welcome as donated blood can only be kept for 35 days.

There were 183 regular donors in Oamaru, she said.

“And over 100 donors that we have missed seeing in the last two years. We hope this opportunity encourages them to donate again, and for potential new donors to also book in.”

Donors are encouraged to be well-hydrated to help with the donation process and recovery. And eating within the four hours prior to donating is also important. People also need to bring some sort of photo identification.

Due to Covid-19 health and safety guidelines, appointments to donate blood are essential.

People can call 0800 448 325 or download the app to make their appointment.

Anyone unsure whether they can donate blood can check eligibility through the NZ Blood website nzblood.co.nz and fill in a brief questionnaire.