DONATE: Red Cross Blood Service community relations officer Jacinta Jeffrey, Hervey Bay nurse Shannon Seeger and WBHHS public health unit director Margaret Young receiving the trophy after more than 1000 blood donations last year.
DONATE: Red Cross Blood Service community relations officer Jacinta Jeffrey, Hervey Bay nurse Shannon Seeger and WBHHS public health unit director Margaret Young receiving the trophy after more than 1000 blood donations last year. Blake Antrobus

URGENT CALL: Coast O Negative supplies running short

FRASER Coast residents with an O Negative blood type are being urged to roll up their sleeves and donate as the Australian Red Cross Blood Service reveals levels have reached their lowest point this year.

Blood Service spokeswoman Belinda Smetioukh said regular donors had been knocked out by cold and flu.

"We've seen the Blood Service's own reserves of O Negative dip to less than two days' supply after maintaining hospital stocks," she said.

"We are urging first time and regular O Negative donors to roll up their sleeves and give blood in order to boost supplies."

O Negative is the universal blood type and can be given to anyone in an emergency situation. Only nine per cent of the population is O Negative, making it one of the rarest blood types, however its versatility means it makes up 17 per cent of the blood ordered by hospitals.

Ms Smetioukh said the Blood Service needed more O Negative donors to continue meeting hospital demand.

"We need 1000 O Negative donations in Queensland 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," she said.

Maintaining O Negative supplies during winter is a seasonal challenge for the Blood Service, with last minute appointment cancellations adding to the strain.

"If you are feeling unwell and already have an appointment booked in, please let us know as soon as possible so we can find someone else to take your spot," Ms Smetioukh said.

This winter, cold and flu symptoms have contributed to as many as 280 Queensland donors cancelling appointments every day.

"We need others to step up - in this case people with O Negative blood - to take the place of those who are unable to answer our call," Ms Smetioukh said.

"With one in three of us needing donated blood or blood products in our lifetime, the life you save could be that of friend or family member."

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