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- Why donate blood
- Who can give
- Am I eligible to donate blood?
- When can I donate next?
- Donating after travelling
- Donating as a group
- How else can I help?
- FAQs - who can give
- I'm ready to donate
- About blood
- 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 17 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.
Age - How does age affect my ability to donate?
Whole blood donors
- New donors can commence donating blood up to their 71st birthday.
- Existing whole blood donors can continue donating blood up to their 81st birthday.
Plasma and Platelet donors
- Existing male whole blood donors can be accepted if aged 18-60 years (ie before their 61st birthday) and meet other eligibility criteria.
- Existing female whole blood donors can be accepted if aged 20-60 years (ie before their 61st birthday) and meet other eligibility criteria.
- Existing whole blood donors aged 61-65 years may be able to start donating plasma and/or platelets subject to the approval of the Blood Service Medical Officer.
- Existing plasma and platelet donors can continue to donate up to their 81st birthday.
All donors are required to retire from donating when they turn 81.
What is the minimum age for blood donation?
The minimum age to donate is 16 years, however, some state/territory legislation requires parental consent for donors aged 16 or 17 years before they’re eligible to donate blood. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you must have parental consent to donate blood in Queensland and Western Australia.
Parental consent form (PDF 98.4KB)
Does the Blood Service comply with the Working with Children legislation?
The Blood Service complies with current Working with Children legislation across each state. The legislation does not require Blood Service staff to obtain Working with Children checks and covers the following:
- Blood Service promotional visits to schools
- Donor Mobile Unit visits to schools with Blood Service staff
- Receiving school groups into Donor Centres
- Blood Service staff driving children to and from donor centres.
If a school representative would like to have a Working with Children check undertaken, the Principal of the relevant school should email the request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond within 3 business days.