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- Why donate blood
- Who can give
- Am I eligible to donate blood?
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- Donating after travelling
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- How else can I help?
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- About blood
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- Australia has one of the safest blood supply systems in the world.
- You can donate whole blood every 12 weeks.
- O negative blood is universal and can be given to anyone.
- Plasma and platelet donations can be made every 2 weeks.
- Every whole blood donation can save 3 lives.
- 1 in 3 people will need blood. Only 1 in 30 gives blood.
- Australia needs over 27,000 blood donations every week.
- 470mL of blood is collected when you give whole blood.
- Within 24-48 hours of giving blood, your blood volume is completely restored.
- Giving blood only takes about an hour.
- Plasma donations can be used to make 18 different products.
- Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days.
- 34% of donated blood goes towards helping cancer patients.
- You can start giving blood at 16.
- The blood service has been collecting blood for over 80 years.
- You can donate double platelets – helping twice as many people.
- Platelets have a shelf life of only 5 days.
Three types of blood donation
There are 3 types of blood donation you can make
Whole blood donation
- This involves collecting 3 blood components (red cells, plasma and platelets).
- O negative donors are always needed for whole blood donations. It is the only blood type that can be safely given to everyone – whatever their blood type, so they are known as ‘universal donors’.
- Donations can be made every 12 weeks
Most people are able to donate whole blood if they:
- are fit, healthy and not suffering from a cold, flu or other illness at the time of donation
- are between 16-70 years old (in some states 16 & 17 years olds require parental consent)
- weigh more than 50kg
- Plasma donations involve donating a concentrated collection of plasma only through a process called apheresis.
- It takes about 45 minutes, though please allow 1.5 hours for the whole process from interview to refreshments.
- You can donate every 2 weeks as your red cells are returned to you when you donate
- Blood type A, AB and B donors are particularly needed for plasma donations.
To become a plasma donor you must:
- have given at least 1 successful whole blood donation in the past 2 years.
- be between 18-65 years old (men); between 20-65 years old (women).
- weigh 50kg or more
Take a look at our plasma brochure for more information (426 KB)
- Platelet donation involves donating a concentrated collection of platelets only through a process called apheresis.
- You can donate every 2-4 weeks as platelets are replaced within a few days of donation.
- Blood type A and O donors are particularly needed for platelet donation.
To become a platelet donor you must:
- have given at least 1 successful whole blood donation in the past 2 years
- be between 18-65 years old (men); 20-65 years old (women).
- weigh 50kg or more
Take a look at our platelet brochure for more information (1.1 MB)