Red Cross to cut Grafton blood collection service on June 10
CLARENCE Valley blood donors will have to travel make their donations after June 10.
The Australian Red Cross has just sent emails to its donors in the region informing them of the decision.
In its email the Red Cross NSW/ACT donor services manager Steven Eldridge says changes to the way blood is used in hospitals means there is a lower need for the tradition red blood cell donations.
"At the same time, doctors are discovering new uses for blood plasma, the nutrient-rich, liquid part of blood that can be made into 18 different lifesaving treatments," the letter reads.
"In response to changing patient needs, donor centres in Armidale, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Taree will receive a boost of 9,000 plasma appointments.
"To enable this, The Blood Service will retire the region's demountable services, originally established to collect more red blood cell units, so that staff can remain in-centre to accommodate the additional appointments."
Mr Eldridge said the last blood collection in Grafton will be on June 10.
He said donor centres have the specialised equipment required to collect only the plasma component of blood, and the capacity to grow plasma donations in coming years.
"We understand that this will make it difficult for some donors to give blood, should they live a long distance from their nearest centre," he said.
"I would like to acknowledge donors who have rolled up their sleeves at these points and saved lives, particularly if these changes mean it is not possible for some to continue donating.
"This decision is part of a commitment from us to collect what patients need. Ensuring we're best placed to do so is our goal."