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- Why donate blood
- Who can give
- Am I eligible to donate blood?
- When can I donate next?
- Donating after travelling
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- How else can I help?
- FAQs - who can give
- I'm ready to donate
- About blood
- Contact Us
- 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.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 as well as other laws that impose obligations regarding personal and health information. The Blood Service is committed to protecting the privacy of personal and health information.
Why we collect information
Personal information is collected and used by the Blood Service for the following purposes:
- to assess the eligibility of individuals to donate blood and to protect both donor health and safety and the safety and sufficiency of blood and blood products;
- to maintain contact with donors regarding past donations and for the purposes of future donations;
- to maintain contact with donors for the purposes of possible participation in Blood Service research;
- to maintain contact with donors for the purposes of market research regarding blood donation and collection and participation in Blood Service activities; and
- to improve our processes.
What information we collect and hold
For the safety of both donors and the blood supply, the Blood Service needs to collect information about health, medical history, travel and certain high risk behaviours. The Blood Service will collect and hold the personal information supplied by you when you register or attend as a donor including in the donor interview, test results for each donation, details of any adverse events and any communication or correspondence with you.
The Blood Service may also receive details of individuals from referrals and list purchases. If we use this information to contact an individual they have the ability to opt out of further communication from us.
Disclosure of your information
Personal and health information will be used for the purposes set out above. The Blood Service may for the purposes of market research regarding blood donation provide your contact details to a third party acting on behalf of the Blood Service. In such circumstances the third party will be subject to a confidentiality agreement and must only use your personal information for the purposes of contacting you on behalf of the Blood Service.
In some instances it may be necessary for the Blood Service to release personal information relating to your donation to insurers and/or regulatory auditors. The insurers and auditors will be required to hold this information in confidence.
The Blood Service will not otherwise distribute your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law.
Access to information
Individuals have a right to request access to their personal information and to request its correction. Should you wish to request any of the personal information we hold about you, please make a request to the Privacy Officer in your State or Territory using the form below.
Proof of identity will be required to ensure information is only disclosed to the relevant person. Some information may not be immediately available but we will attempt to deal with requests promptly.
If you believe any personal information we are holding is incorrect or incomplete please let us know by writing to the Privacy Officer in your State or Territory.
Collection, use and disclosure of personal information through the Blood Service’s website
You can access most parts of the Blood Service website and browse anonymously without providing your personal information or without being identified. However, some of the functions of the website may require you to provide certain personal information.
When you email the Blood Service with a query, the Blood Service will collect the personal information you provide. Subject to any exceptions within the privacy legislation, the Blood Service will not use or disclose this information for any purpose other than to progress and respond to your query.
You can contact the Blood Service anonymously online or by calling 1300 606 833.
Storage and Retention
Personal information is stored securely and access is limited to certain staff.
The Blood Service is a national organisation and as such all donor information will be accessible to all our Donor Centres and Processing Centres in Australia, but only to those staff members whose job responsibilities require such access.
Personal health information will be held by the Blood Service for a minimum of 20 years, as required by legislation applicable to the collection of blood donations.
Making a complaint
If you believe that your privacy has been infringed, please contact the Blood Service Privacy Officer in your State or Territory. If you are not satisfied with our response you can refer your complaint to the Australian Information Commissioner.
The Blood Service will not disclose information to an overseas entity except in circumstances where it is a permitted Health Situation or is otherwise permitted under the Privacy Act 1988.
This policy will be reviewed by the Blood Service every 2 years or more frequently if required by the Privacy Act or other relevant legislation.