Plea to raise numbers of blood donors

Source: Radio New Zealand

Blood donations have been rolling in as the New Zealand Blood Service held its first annual donor week.

Blood donation.

The agency says 38,000 new donors are needed in the next 12 months to keep up with demand, and the week was established to attract crucial supply.

Marketing manager for the New Zealand Blood Service Asuka Burge was relieved to see a boost in donors this week, but said more were still needed.

"We've definitely seen a boost in appointment numbers which is really important given it's coming up to winter."

"We don't quite have the final figures yet, but it's really encouraging to see so many new people."

Burge said someone in New Zealand needs blood every 18 minutes, but only a small portion of eligible people choose to donate.

"Less than four per cent of New Zealanders donate blood, and those four per cent supply blood for the whole country, so we really do need more people to join this whānau."

She said the appeal for more donors was being driven by higher use of blood supplies.

"The demand for particularly O and A blood groups, which are the most common ones, has been constant."

Burge said there was not a clear reason why the need had increased.