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6 good reasons to donate blood

Lifestyle — Posted 18/06/15

Blood is a precious, life-saving resource that is always urgently needed – and it’s quick, easy and safe to give. Here’s why you should consider donating.

If you’re one of the many Australians who can give blood, doing so is precious gift that can help make a real difference to people’s lives. Even better, it’s a gift that’s quick and easy to give at one of the many Red Cross Blood Service centres around Australia.

Here are six reasons why you should think about donating this vital resource.

1. More blood is always needed

Each week, Australia needs more than 27,000 donations to help supply the Red Cross Blood Service. One in three people will need blood in their lifetime – but only 1 in 30 currently donate.

2. Your blood can help save lives

Most donated blood goes to people with cancer and blood diseases. Other common recipients are people undergoing surgery, or those who have suffered traumatic accidents or burns.

3. You can help three or more people each time

A little goes a long way. A single blood donation can help at least three different patients, and contribute to making 22 different products such as immunisations.

4. It’s safe to give

The Red Cross Blood Service has a reputation as one of the safest blood suppliers in the world. All the equipment is sterile, and needles are used only once and then discarded. A donation of 470mL of blood is less than 10% of most people’s total blood volume. This is safe to give every 12 weeks.

5. It’s quick and easy

Giving blood takes just 5-10 minutes – all up, your appointment should take less than an hour. Before you donate, you will have an interview with a trained staff member to make sure you’re a suitable donor. They will also do a quick blood pressure test and a finger prick to test your haemoglobin levels. After you give blood, you should rest for a few minutes and enjoy a cool drink and a snack in the refreshment area.

Donating plasma or platelets takes a little longer – around 45 minutes for donation. Allow up to an hour and half including the interview and refreshments.

6. It’s painless

It doesn’t hurt to give blood. The prick of the needle is about the worst of it – although of course, everyone will experience the sensation differently. You may feel nauseated or light headed, so it’s important to eat a substantial meal and drink plenty of water before you donate.

Find out more about giving blood or make an appointment at donateblood.com.au

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