BATHURST residents are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and donate to help boost Australia's short supply of blood.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has issued a call-out for blood donors as supplies of O+ and A+ blood, the most common types, have now dropped to two days' supply.
An additional 16,000 people are needed to donate in the next fortnight.
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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 [COVID-19] 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."
Lifeblood is seeing fewer donors making appointments and 1,200 donors cancelling or not turning up to their donations every day.
Bathurst is in a position to help, with the mobile donor centre currently in the Bathurst McDonald's car park.
Account manager John Feist, who is based in Orange, said that appointments have been limited due to COVID-19, however people should keep an eye out on the app in case there are cancellations.
The mobile donor centre is open from 9am to 3.30pm on Wednesday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
Otherwise, Bathurst residents are invited to travel to Orange to donate at the permanent facility in Kite Street.
Mr Feist said donating blood takes about an hour from start to finish, but the needle is only in the arm for about seven to 12 minutes.
For those who are scared of needles or nervous about the process, staff will provide extra support.
"All our staff are fully trained to spot nervous people and make sure they put them at ease as much as they can," Mr Feist said.
"We've got very experienced staff, both on the mobile unit and in Orange, who, if somebody is exhibiting signs of being a little bit nervous, we would team them up with."
Donor centres are safe to visit, with strict social distancing, cleaning and donor eligibility measures.
Call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au for more information about donating.