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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.
Entering the new millennium
As demand for blood products continues to rise, with ever-evolving new and exciting uses for blood, so too does the constant need for blood donors.
Picture: Today's state-of-the-art donor centres.
Nucleic Acid Testing for HIV and Hepatitis C adds an extra level of safety to the Australian blood supply.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service provides emergency blood supplies to Australians injured in the Bali nightclub bombing.
-The annual number of blood donations by Australians breaks the one million mark for the first time.
Picture: New South Wales donor James Harrison enters the Guinness Book of World Records for the most blood donations after clocking up his 804th donation.
James is part of the Blood Service’s Rh Antibody Project aimed at preventing haemolytic disease in newborn babies. Rh Negative donors, like James, give plasma every two weeks to produce Rh (D) Immunoglobulin (Anti-D). This helps to protect mothers at risk from the disease, caused by an incompatibility between their blood and that of their baby.
Year of the Blood Donor celebrated 80 years of Red Cross blood services in Australia.