Blood donors in Stratford are being asked to keep donations flowing this month.

A mobile blood drive will be in Stratford on Friday morning, June 12.
Asuka Burge, national marketing manager for New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS), says the support of donors is vital for the service.

"During the Covid-19 level 4 lockdown New Zealand Blood Service was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from generous and committed donors who continued to make blood donations. This was a huge help to NZBS to maintain healthy blood stock levels. "

In April alone, the NZ Blood service collected 15,300 donations.

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This ensured they were able to continue to meet demand despite the country going through an unprecedented situation, Burge says.

People are understandably a bit cautious currently about safety in the time of Covid-19 says Burge.

"We would like to reassure the donors that a 'robust' process is in place to ensure that the blood drives and donor centres are safe places to visit."

As well as the highest possible standards of hygiene, all equipment used in blood collection is new, sterile and only used once.

"The safety of donors is a high priority. Social distancing measures are in place, hand sanitiser is used and PPE face masks are mandatory."

Burge says the service is forecasting a rise in the demand for blood now the country is in alert level two.

"Hospital activity is on the increase as elective surgeries resume."

It is with the support of local communities such as Stratford that the service can continue to meet demand, says Burge.

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"With people returning to work and adjustment to the new normal, time is more precious. This still gives people an opportunity to get together with their friends and workmates by uniting to donate blood."

To donate blood, donors must be healthy and well and free of any respiratory symptoms.

They must not have been in contact with anyone suspected of contracting Covid-19.

Any blood donor who is feeling unwell will need to cancel or reschedule their appointment.

Burge says the NZ Blood Service appreciates the support of all blood donors in the Taranaki Region. Their support means those patients in hospital will continue to receive blood and blood products on a daily basis.

Donors are an essential service effectively, says Burge.

Stratford blood drive: Stratford War Memorial Hall on Friday, June 12 between 8.30am and 12.30pm.

To book a time call 0800 448 325 or book online.

www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/donating/am-i-eligible