Holiday threat to blood stocks

RED Cross is urging Northern Tasmanians to give blood over Easter.

The organisation is concerned that two consecutive long weekends over Easter and Anzac Day will see regular donors go on holiday, jeopardising stocks needed to treat cancer patients.

Spokesman Graham Innes said more than 50 appointments were still needed to combat the loss of donations.

He asked Tasmanians to factor a blood donation into their holiday plans, especially between April 17 and 26.

``We need to collect almost 1000 donations across the state's four donation centres every week,'' Mr Innes said.

``Most at risk are the short-lived stocks of platelets, which last on five days from collection and are vital to the treatment of cancer patients.''

The Launceston Donor Centre is open every day over Easter and Anzac Day, except for Good Friday (April 18) and Easter Sunday (April 20).

To make an appointment, visit donateblood.com.au or call 131 495.

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