NZ Blood Service preparing for Omicron impact

Photo: File/SunLive.

New Zealand Blood Service is preparing for the impact of Omicron to be felt in its Donor Centres and Mobile Drives across the country.

The service is calling on people in good health to book an appointment to donate this month to help secure blood stock levels in New Zealand as Omicron peaks.

For the month of March, NZBS is making plans to increase blood stocks over its usual levels as the Omicron outbreak continues to gain momentum.

This will help ensure it is in a strong position to continue to meet demand in the coming weeks.

“The need for blood is constant, but we are not immune to the impact of Omicron,” says Asuka Burge, National Marketing & Communication Manager, New Zealand Blood Service.

“As case numbers increase, we are forecasting it will start to have a significant impact on the number of eligible donors able to donate. Blood only lasts 35 days, this is why we are asking more healthy people to donate now to help ensure we have sufficient stock levels in preparation for the coming weeks and potential donor shortages.

“It has never been easier to book an appointment to donate. You can visit nzblood.co.nz, download the App or call 0800 448 325. Donors can also sign up to the Facebook Blood Donations feature to receive updates and notifications about donating blood near them.

“Every appointment is vitally important, so we also need people who cannot attend an appointment to donate, to either reschedule or cancel their appointment so our team can try to rebook the appointment.”

NZBS is an essential health service and is continuously reviewing its processes to ensure every possible precaution is taken to ensure its donor centres and blood drives are safe places to visit.

“We have an amazing community of blood donors, and we are confident they will do their bit to help. To anyone considering becoming a donor, don’t wait to save a life! It’s as straightforward as checking if you are eligible at nzblood.co.nz and then booking an appointment to donate. We’d love to see you.

“Blood donors save lives, and we are asking you to roll up your sleeves for your community.”

Donors are asked to book an appointment to donate, rather than just turn up. Appointments help manage the social distancing and flow of people in donor centres at any given time and allow NZBS to forecast supply, ensuring it is collecting sufficient quantities of blood types and blood products.

To find out the location of your nearest donor centre or mobile blood drive, and book an appointment to donate visit nzblood.co.nz, download the App or call 0800 448 325.

• Blood stock levels need to be boosted

• NZBS needs to collect more than 4000 donations every week to be able to meet demand.

• NZBS currently has more than 12,000 appointments slots available in March.

• Face masks are mandatory for donors to wear while visiting a donor centre or mobile drive. • PPE face masks are mandatory for all donor floor staff.

• Donor centres and mobile drives are safe places to visit.

• It is essential to book an appointment. Appointments help manage the flow and social distancing of people in donor centres at any given time and allows NZBS to forecast supply, ensuring it is collecting enough blood types and blood products.

• Donors are asked to use the NZ Blood app, website or call 0800 448 325 to find suitable available appointments and to book into March.

• NZBS is asking donors who cannot attend a scheduled appointment to reschedule or cancel appointments if they can no longer make them, in order to free up slots for people who can donate. All appointments are vitally important to maintaining the country’s blood stock levels.

• Plasma donors can donate every two weeks. Those considering becoming a plasma donor should ask about it when they next donate whole blood https://www.nzblood.co.nz/giveblood/plasma/.

For more information on donating blood during COVID, visit https://www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/covid-19-updates/. Or to book an appointment to donate visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325.




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