75% of Warwick donors stop giving their blood
TWO years after the Red Cross mobile blood service stopped coming to Warwick, only 25% of local regular donors are making 164km round trip to Toowoomba to give blood.
The Red Cross Blood Service stopped visiting Warwick and Stanthorpe in February 2015 after extending trading hours at the Toowoomba Donor Centre in order to collect more plasma and platelets, which cannot be collected using mobile units.
At the time the service stopped, Cr Neil Meiklejohn was president of the Warwick Red Cross.
"I imagine these figures are representative of just how few people are making the effort from Warwick to give blood," he said.
"I imagine even fewer are travelling from Stanthorpe."
A Red Cross spokeswoman said the channelling of resources into upping plasma numbers drove the decision to cease the service.
"With staff leaving the Toowoomba Blood Donor Centre to staff the mobile donor centre visiting Warwick and other areas, we were unable to meet this growing need for plasma," she said.
"We're really grateful around 25% of Warwick's blood donors have continued to give blood by donating in Toowoomba."
Cr Meiklejohn understood the predicament was a double-edged sword.
"It's disappointing we don't have blood collection," he said.
"But, on a practical, using limited resources for the best possible outcome angle, they're collecting more plasma which is so important."
Having first-hand experience in the importance of blood donation during his daughter Caitlyn's cancer treatment, Cr Meiklejohn uged all to give blood.
"If you're making the trip to Toowoomba, Ipswich or Brisbane... contemplate and make a bit of time and book in to give some blood," he said.
"What a great thing people can do, that just requires a bit of time."