Today is World Blood Donor Day, which occurs in tandem with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s annual celebration, National Blood Donor Week.
New statistics reveal that once-a-year donors could create a near-endless blood supply for Australian patients if they just make a second donation each year. About 40 per cent of Australia’s 455,000 blood donors who gave blood in the past year have only made one donation. Whole blood can be given four times a year, and plasma every fortnight.
The Blood Service confirmed that if once-a-year donors gave blood twice a year – just one extra hour of their time – Australia’s blood supply would be assured, no longer requiring urgent appeals at times when Australia is traditionally short on donors, such as winter and long-weekends.
The Blood Service’s executive director of donor services, Janine Wilson, encouraged Australia’s once-a-year donors to ‘double-up’ and make a second donation this year. “We really appreciate the effort that goes into making one donation and hope that this group of donors sees how just another hour of their time could make such a significant difference to the availability of blood and blood products for Australian patients,” Ms Wilson said. “A second donation from each donor would give us an extra 180,000 blood donations annually.
“The fact is that we as a nation are just a collective hour away from making this happen. It really is a remarkable ideal that we could quickly turn into a reality if our once-a-year donors just made one more donation.”
Ms Wilson added that the Blood Service was always on the lookout for new donors to join its ranks. “This week is National Blood Donor Week, a time when the nation says thank you to the 455,000 ‘bloody legends’ who gave blood in the past 12 months,” she said.
“It’s also a great opportunity for anyone aged between 16 and 70, who is feeling fit and healthy and who may be eligible to give blood to get in touch to see if they can start their donation career with us.”
National Blood Donor Week is an Australian event that starts on 11 June and ends 17 June, and occurs in tandem with World Blood Donor Day on June 14.
To give a (second) blood donation, please call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au
About the Australian Red Cross Blood Service
Australian governments fully fund Red Cross for the provision of blood products and services to the Australian community. This is possible through the support of more than half a million voluntary blood donors.