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Why donate 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.
Blood is vital to life and for many people blood donors are their lifeline. Currently only 1in 30 people give blood, but 1in 3 people will need blood in their lifetime.
Modern processing techniques mean that a single blood donation, when separated into its components, can help at least 3 different patients and contribute to making up to 22 different products (including potentially life-saving immunisations for chicken pox, hepatitis B and tetanus).
Every week Australia needs over 27,000 blood donations.
Long weekends put a strain on the nation’s blood supply. There are fewer days to collect the more than 27,000 blood donations needed every week to treat people in need and there can be an increase in demand for blood and blood products during holiday periods.
Also, many people are away on vacation over public holidays and are unable to donate.
Currently there are slightly more than half a million voluntary unpaid donors in Australia.
In the 2010-2011 financial year, the Blood Service collected 1.35 million lifesaving blood donations – our biggest year of collections on record.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service is a national not-for-profit organisation that forms part of Australian Red Cross. We are supported by the governments of Australia and are responsible for providing the Australian community with safe, high quality blood and blood products, and organ and bone marrow services for transplantation. We do this with the support of more than half a million voluntary blood donors.
The Blood Service is active in many areas of the health industry. These include vital services related to bone marrow, organ and tissue donation, tissue typing for transplantations, research into blood and blood products, donor and product safety and blood transfusion.