Plea to turn o negative into a positive

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury’s Karis Aplin makes her 200th donation on her birthday as Australian Red Cross Blood Service call for O negative donors.
Camera IconBunbury’s Karis Aplin makes her 200th donation on her birthday as Australian Red Cross Blood Service call for O negative donors. Credit: Supplied

A horror cold and flu season in the South West has seen O Negative blood reserves dip to the lowest point this year.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Bunbury Blood Donor Centre are urgently calling on donors, with reserves holding less than two days’ supply.

Blood service spokeswoman Helen Walsh said regular donors were still being knocked about by the cold and flu season and more blood was needed to continue meeting hospital demand.

“We are urging first time and regular O Negative donors to roll up their sleeves and give blood in order to boost supplies,” Ms Walsh said.

“We need 5000 O Negative donations over the next two weeks to meet this demand.

“If you are O Negative, someone in your family could be too – we’re asking people to talk to their family and encourage them to donate.”

O Negative is the universal blood type and can be given to anyone in an emergency situation.

Bunbury resident Karis Aplin celebrated her 34th birthday on Monday by giving her 200th donation to the blood centre.

Miss Aplin said it was an important milestone for her.

“I didn’t necessarily start giving blood because I had a relative sick or anything like that, but why it’s important is because I feel it helps inspire other people to donate,” Miss Aplin said.

“I’ve had friends who have either experienced someone who has needed blood or has been sick recently and seen that I’ve done it so regularly, which has inspired them to make their first donation.

“I guess it’s about trying to inspire others who can donate to donate and to also show how easy it is to be able to get to that milestone.”

Miss Aplin gave her first donation at the age of 18 and said it was the “wonderful experience” that kept her going back.

“If you want to do something special and feel special, they really do make you feel quite special when you go there so it’s always a nice experience,” she said.

“That’s why you continue to do it regularly and it’s a credit to the ladies and the men at the donor centres who make you feel special about doing something special.”

To make an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.

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