Can you roll up your sleeves and donate blood?

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has put out the call for Latrobe Valley residents to donate.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has put out the call for Latrobe Valley residents to donate.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has issued an urgent appeal for 16,000 additional people to give blood or plasma during the next two weeks.

All blood and plasma types are needed, but in particular, Lifeblood's supplies of O+ and A+ blood have now dropped to two days' supply, meaning stocks of Australia's two most common blood types are under real pressure.

As the nation continues to reopen, Lifeblood is seeing fewer donors making appointments and 1200 donors cancelling or not turning up to their donations every day.

Residents in the Latrobe Valley can visit the Lifeblood Donation Centre on Seymour Street, Traralgon.

Lifeblood executive director Cath Stone said 31,000 donations are needed every week across Australia to help patients in times of trauma, major surgery, cancer treatment, pregnancy and a host of other situations.

"As restrictions across the nation continue to ease, it's essential that blood and plasma donations continue," Ms Stone said.

"We saw the absolute best of the community throughout the pandemic with donors continuing to come in, however, this recent trend of decreasing appointments and increasing cancellations is concerning."

Around 71 per cent of the Australian population has an O+ or A+ blood type, which means these are also the most commonly used for patients in need.

"We want to thank everyone who has continued to step up and donate during COVID-19. However, the need for blood and blood products never stops so we urge those who can to make blood or plasma donation part of their 'new normal'," Ms Stone said.

"Even if you don't know what blood type you have, we still need you - we need all blood types every day."

"Our donor centres are safe to visit, with strict social distancing, cleaning and donor eligibility measures still in place. Only healthy people are eligible to give blood and we have introduced even more stringent wellness checks prior to appointments, including temperature checking," she said.

New and existing donors are welcome.

To book a blood or plasma donation visit lifeblood.com.au, call 13 14 95 or download the Donate Blood app.