Blood donors needed - they’re lifesavers

24 MARCH 2022

Blood donors needed - they’re lifesavers

Charles Sturt University is playing a part in supporting Red Cross Lifeblood regional blood donation efforts and new blood donor recruitment.

  • Charles Sturt University saves lives with blood and plasma donations as COVID-19 and recent floods impacted blood donations and supplies across Australia
  • In 2021 the University’s students and staff made 2,562 blood and plasma donations
  • Each blood donation can help to save the lives of three people, and plasma donations can be made more often

Charles Sturt University is playing a part in supporting Red Cross Lifeblood regional blood donation efforts and new blood donor recruitment.

Demand for blood is among the highest it’s been in ten years, attributed to emergency presentations and increased surgery presentations.

Red Cross Lifeblood needs to collect 33,000 donations Australia-wide every week and reports that in recent weeks Omicron has sidelined up to 100,000 blood donors, resulting in very high cancellations and ‘no shows’.

The pandemic has stretched blood supplies across Australia, and Lifeblood needs new donors to volunteer.

In 2021 as a leading regional blood donor Charles Sturt University staff and students made 2,562 donations, helping 7,686 lives, and welcomed 139 new donors to their ranks.

So far in 2022 (1 January to 17 March) the University’s students and staff across its regional campus footprint have made 495 donations by 345 individuals.

Long-time blood donor and Associate Lecturer in Nursing Ms Suzi Querruel in the Charles Sturt School of Nursing, Paramedicine and Healthcare Sciences in Bathurst, said donating blood is one of the most important year-round ‘volunteer’ activities a person can contribute to.

“Each donation can help save the lives of three people, so donating blood is such a positive consequential act,” she said.

“The 495 blood and plasma donations so far this year have saved 1,485 lives.”

Recent donation data shows women at Charles Sturt donate blood at nearly double the rate to men in the current Inter-campus Challenge; 222 female donors to 123 male donors.

In the general community there are more female donors (54 per cent) than male donors (46 per cent), however men make more donations because they give more frequently because female donations are deferred more often, for example due to pregnancy, and breast feeding.

As of 15 March, Wagga Wagga led the Charles Sturt Inter-campus Challenge with 37 donations, but Orange had the highest campus population-to-donation ratio with 13 donations.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Group Account Manager, Donor Services, Ms Kristin Hellmrich, said, “We still have Omicron sidelining up to 100,000 blood donors, so we are seeing very high cancellations and ‘no shows’ across our centres. Plasma demand is at an all-time high and with our regular donors being sidelined, we are asking new donors to step up.

“Many people say they would donate blood if asked, so group donations, like at Charles Sturt University, are critical for attracting new donors.

“It’s important for people to understand that they can donate three days after their COVID-19 booster or second vaccination, and if they have had COVID they are good to donate seven days after they are no longer symptomatic.” (Read the detailed guidelines.)

There are Red Cross Lifeblood Donation Centres in most towns, the schedule can be accessed via the website?

  • Book an appointment to donate at a convenient time and location - to make a blood donation appointment call 13 14 95 or visit lifeblood.com.au
  • Once registered, you can choose to join a lifeblood team by clicking on ‘Teams’ icon at the top of your personal home page or ‘More’ and then ‘Preferences’ on the App

Existing blood donors just need to follow Step 4 to join their lifeblood team.

Donors can also consider donating plasma, as it is a donation that can help save more lives more often.


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Suzi Querruel contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

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