Blood service sends bat signal as stocks run low

AUSTRALIA needs more blood donations following a sudden spike in demand as the Red Cross Blood Service continues to battle a debilitating winter flu season.

The blood service on Monday activated its blood signal - a digital 'bat signal' appealing for donors - for the first time in almost two years

Nationally, the blood service is running low across all major blood groups, but is particularly worried about stocks of O Negative (less than two days' supply) and O Positive (less than three days' supply).

"O Negative is the universal blood type that can be given to anyone in an emergency, and O Positive is the most common blood type in the country," spokesman Barry Lynch said.

"More than 40 per cent of Australians would need O Positive blood in the event of a transfusion.

"The problem is that up to 1000 donors a week are cancelling their donations due to cold and flu symptoms, and to make matters worse, we've had a recent spike in demand for blood."

Mr Lynch said the organisation had activated its blood signal on social media to try and reach new donors.

"We liken the blood signal to the bat signal: that is, we hope Australian donors will see it as a call-to-action to rise to the occasion. 

"Even if you can't donate, you can share the blood signal to encourage friends to give in your place thanks to the power of social media.

"Every donation you make or help encourage can help save three lives, including those of cancer patients, unborn babies, mothers giving birth, road trauma victims, burns victims, and people who need kidney dialysis."

To learn more about the Blood Signal, visit

To make an appointment to give blood, call 13 14 95 or visit