Shepparton people are being called on to roll up their sleeves and donate blood this month as winter illnesses sideline regular donors.JENNA BISHOP May 13, 2014 5:12am
Generosity needed: Shepparton Blood Donor Centre donor service nurse Marg Jones is encouraging people to donate blood in May.
The call for more donors comes as a national spike in flu cases causes an increase in the number of donors cancelling or rescheduling appointments to donate blood.
The Shepparton office needs to fill 225 vacant appointments in May to meet demand for blood donation.
Depending on the number of donors each month, up to 188 litres of blood is collected at the Shepparton centre each month.
Thirty-five donors are needed to fill vacant appointments this week, 52 are needed the following week, while in the third week 68 appointments are vacant and 70 still need to be filled in the final week of the month.
Health Department data shows a 60 per cent increase in influenza cases so far this year compared to the same period last year.
The figures are in line with Blood Service national call centre data showing up to 1000 appointments a week are being cancelled or rescheduled because of donors having flu or flu-like symptoms — compared to just 100 a week in January.
Blood Service spokeswoman Erin Lagoudakis said the early flu cases could have a worrying impact on blood supplies approaching winter, when influenza cases were expected to increase.
‘‘Our biggest concern is that flu season hasn’t even peaked, and so it will be difficult to attract new donors if we leave it too late,’’ she said.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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