Every day across Australia someone, somewhere, needs the vital gift of blood.
During National Blood Donor Week (14-20 June), Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is celebrating everyone who has helped to make the gift of blood possible in Australia.
In the last 12 months, over half a million Australians have donated more than 1.5 million times, including 6623 donations that can be attributed to Navy personnel.
Commanding Officer of HMAS Cerberus, Captain Mike Oborn, and members of his executive team visited the Frankston Donor Centre recently, and rolled up their sleeves to contribute to National Blood Donor Week.
“The staff and trainees at Cerberus have always had such a great connection with our local community and that includes a large cohort of regular blood donors,” Captain Oborn said.
“Blood donations are a critical part of Australia’s health system, and allows you to contribute to the saving of many lives every day right across Australia and around the world.”
“The statistics tell us that one in three people will need blood products in their lifetime, so it is likely someone in your family or a close relative will need this gift.”
“The process is simple and only an hour out of your day, so I would ask everyone to consider becoming a regular donor,” he said.
The need for blood donations is amplified by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is calling for 10,000 new donors to prevent a shortage of whole blood and other blood products, like plasma and platelets.
Sarah Lacey is part of the Regional Partnerships Team with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood in Victoria and says donating blood is safe, despite the current global pandemic.
“People who are healthy and well and meet our existing donation criteria, and are at least 28 days past any COVID-like symptoms are capable of donating,” Mrs Lacey said.
“The Australian Government is encouraging people who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma to assist with the search for possible future treatment options.”
“Without the enthusiasm and dedication of lifeblood champions, like the team from Cerberus, we simply couldn’t achieve the donation numbers like this together.”
National Blood Donor Week is separate to the annual Defence Blood Challenge that occurs between September to December each year.
It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the work of the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and to reflect on the generosity of Australia’s blood donors.
This year Red Cross Lifeblood asked blood recipients, donors and anyone who has been touched by blood donation to share their stories.
These inspiring and sometimes emotional stories can be seen on the National Blood Donor Week webpage www.donateblood.com.au/national-blood-donor-week-2020.