The 2018 Defence Red Cross Blood Challenge is in full swing, with a new record breaking day for plasma donations set in the NSW/ACT area.
The newly opened Red Cross Plasma Donor Centre, in the heart of Canberra City, helps meet Australia’s growing demand for this vital component of blood. Currently, Australia’s demand for plasma is at an all-time high, and the new centre is a key tool in meeting ever-growing patient needs. The Plasma Donor Centre has the capacity to take approximately 188 donors in any one day.
With the assistance of 76 Navy members from across the Canberra area, the previous record of 111 donations in a single day was surpassed and a new record of 130 donations set.
The 2018 RAN Blood Challenge Ambassador, LS Freya Halliday not only made her 18th plasma donation but spent the entire day at the centre to engage with Navy and other local members of the community.
“I want people to enrol and make a donation and continue donating,” she said.
“Take a look at your eligibility to donate, because the rules have changed and it’s much easier to donate now. For example, donors now only have to wait four months after getting a tattoo.”
With Navy the major contributor to breaking the daily donation record, it assisted in proving the capability of the new donor centre which contributes to saving the lives of many Australians.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan also donated for his second time in four weeks, proving it’s easy to find the time to get out of the office and donate.
“There is a national shortage of plasma and this is a fantastic opportunity for Navy and other institutions in Australia to show support for the great work Red Cross does, helping and saving lives of everyday Australians,” VADM Noonan said.
The record breaking day helps position Navy well for the rest of the Defence Blood Challenge. Now in its 10th year the challenge competitively places Navy, Army, Air Force and Defence Public Servants against each other to strengthen Australia’s blood supplies.