How your blood is used


Blood is surprisingly versatile. The blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments.

Who your blood helps


People of all walks of life need blood products. Some need it to get them through a serious event in their lives, like cancer or a difficult pregnancy. Others have medical conditions which mean they need blood products regularly to stay alive or be healthy.

Jo's story

Jo owes his life to countless generous blood donors. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer at age two, he needed red cells, plasma and platelets to survive.

Mika's story

Mika needs Intragam, made from plasma, every few weeks for his blood disorder. He calls it his 'super powers' because after his treatment he's strong enough to walk.

Jacob's story

After a serious car accident, Jacob needed over 36 litres of blood to survive.

Now, he is alive and skydiving. As a way of saying 'thank you' to the donors who saved his life, Jacob is a dedicated blood donor.

Rosanne's story

Rosanne is in remission from leukaemia thanks to just a handful of special blood donors. Her rare blood type meant less than five donors in Australia could donate red cells and platelets to help save her life.

Rosanne is now a busy young woman who loves art and is studying photography.

Check your eligibility

Types of donation

There are about five litres of blood in the human body and it's made up of several useful components.

You may be able to donate blood, plasma or platelets. Each type of blood donation is used for different medical treatments, and your blood type determines the best donation for you to make.

For more ways to help others, consider bone marrow or organ donation.


What is it?

Blood collected straight from a donor, without anything taken out. After it's donated, we usually separate blood into red blood cells, plasma and platelets in our labs.

Who can donate?

You need to be 18-75 years old, weigh 50kg or more and be fit and healthy. Read more about the minimum age.

Used for:

Cancer, blood diseases, anaemia, heart disease, stomach disease, kidney disease, childbirth, operations, blood loss, trauma, burns.

Lasts for:

Red cells can be stored for 42 days.

How long does it take?

15 minutes to donate, 45 minutes for the appointment.

How often can I donate?

Every 12 weeks

Find out more about the donation process


What is it:

Your blood is 55% plasma. It's the straw-coloured liquid that carries your red and white blood cells and platelets. 

Who can donate:

You can donate if you’re 18-75 years old, weigh at least 50kg and are fit and healthy. Other criteria apply so call us on 13 14 95 for more info.

Used for:

Your plasma can be used in 18 different life-giving ways – from treating serious burns and cancer, to protecting people with brain and nerve diseases. It’s always being developed to help in new ways.

Lasts for:

Plasma can last up to 1 year when frozen.

How does it work?

The process is apheresis, which means we take some of your blood, keep the plasma and then return the rest back to you.

How long does it take:

45 minutes to donate, but we recommend 1.5 hours for the whole appointment.

How often can I donate

You can give Australians exactly what they need every 2 weeks

Find out more about plasma here.


What is it?

The tiny 'plates' in blood that wedge together to help clotting and reduce bleeding. Platelets are always in demand: they're vital for people with low platelet counts, like many cancer patients.

Who can donate?

Men who are aged between 18-75, weigh 50kg or more and have previously given a successful plasma donation in the past 12 months. Other criteria apply, so call us on 13 14 95 for more details.

Used for:

Cancer, leukaemia (particularly during chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants), surgery, trauma, liver disease.

Lasts for:

Just five days.

How does it work?

We collect some of your blood, keep the platelets and return the rest to you by apheresis.

How long does it take?

45 minutes to donate, 1.5 hours for the appointment

How often can I donate?

Every 2-4 weeks.

See our platelets brochure for more info.


Thinking of giving blood?

Check your eligibility

Most people can donate blood, but some can't for health or lifestyle reasons.

Make an appointment

Many of our blood donor centres are open after office hours and on weekends.


Our friendly specialist donor centre team will be with you throughout the process.

What happens when you give blood

Being a blood donor


Most donors tell us that giving blood isn't as scary as they thought it would be. Feeling nervous? Read these tips.

Our trained donor centre staff members are there with you through the whole process. They'll explain how everything works and answer your questions.

How we protect your health during donation.


It's easy, straightforward, rewarding and for a great cause. Who knows, maybe it will be you or someone you know who will need it one day!

James, New South Wales
See if you can donate

Make an Appointment

Ready to donate?

You can make and manage your appointments online

Make appointment now


You can call us on

13 14 95