Make this the year to start!
Every year over 1.5 million Australian’s roll up their sleeves and make a blood donation. Tackling their fears of needles and blood, and making a significant contribution to our community. Saving countless lives of those with medical conditions or suffering from trauma, this important contribution is truly appreciated by so many!
Blood donation is a life-saving act that can have a huge impact on the lives of others. Just 1 blood donation can save up to 3 lives. While it may only take a few minutes to donate (and despite its importance!), many people are still hesitant to donate blood due to misconceptions or a lack of information about the process. Currently we see only 3% of Australians donating this much needed resource.
The need for blood is constant. It’s use varies from treating medical conditions like surgery, cancer treatment, and the treatment of chronic illnesses. In fact, 1 in 3 people will need blood or blood products in their lifetime. This equates weekly to more than 29,000 donations to meet demand.
How does Blood Donation work?
Donating blood is a relatively quick and simple process, only taking around 10-15 minutes. The team at your local Red Cross Lifeblood centre are trained professionals, looking after you from beginning to end of the donation and ensuring the process is stress-free. Afterwards you are treated to a complimentary snack and drink, and you can be back again to donate after 12 weeks for blood, and 2 weeks for plasma.
Did you know that 470ml of blood is taken when you donate? This is around 8% of the average adult’s blood volume but is fully restored within 24-48 hours. After your donation is taken the centre will usually then separate the blood into red blood cells, plasma, and platelets before being distributed to those in need.
At The Westport Club we are very proud to have team members in our community who actively partake in blood and plasma donations – we even have our own team at Port Macquarie Lifeblood centre in collaboration with the Mid Coast Clubs Challenge! One of the biggest advocates and supporters of blood donations is our Marketing Manager, Steve Binstadt. We recently sat down with Steve and asked a few questions about the donation process, when he started donating, and what inspires him to continue.
Q – When did you first donate blood?
A – Between 1989-90 whilst serving in the Royal Australian Navy. The Garden Island Naval Precinct had opportunities available, so I began donating. Now my total donations are up to 120+, with majority being plasma donations as you can donate more often. I’ll donate up to 20 times per year, working out to be around every 2 weeks on a Saturday morning.
Q – Why do you choose to donate?
A – It is extremely rewarding! Knowing that you can save 3 lives with 1 donation is a big motivator – and also thinking about how those people in need could be your own friends and family that need help.
Q – What advice would you give to someone donating for the first time?
A – Hydrate! And don’t play squash after! Also, the right diet is important once you get into the groove of routine donation – making sure you’re looking after yourself.
Q – How can someone else donate?
A – Make an appointment at your local centre. The app is also great to download with lots of information to help you prepare and maintain your donation schedule. Always give the centre a call if you have questions that aren’t answered online or if you’re unsure about something.
It’s time to make a difference!
Donating blood is a simple and incredibly important act that makes a huge impact on the lives of others within our community. By donating blood, you can help save the lives of others in need and make a big difference to the wellbeing and livelihood of those affected. Now is the time to check if you’re eligible and consider donating blood today to help make a positive impact! Find out more on the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website here.
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