Young Blood

Do a bloody good deed. Donate blood today.


Leave a comment

What blood type are you and what does this mean?

Blood_compatible_table

(Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Service)

When you donate for the first time, you will be informed about what blood type you have through a donor card that you’ll be able to keep. For those who are fantastic at not remembering things, this card is awesome as a quick reference for what your blood type is.

You inherit your blood type from your parents. Their combination of genetics determine the presence or absence of antigens on the surface of your red blood cells. There are four blood types: O, A, B and AB. These are further split into positive and negative.

Here’s the Australian Red Blood Cross’ nifty little break down of each blood type.

Blood type B

  • 10% of Australians have B blood type
  • As type B is one of the rarest blood types, B type blood donors are always needed, particularly for plasma donations
  • By giving plasma regularly, you can help people with B and O blood types

Blood type A

  • 38% of Australians have type A blood
  • As type A blood is common, it is in constant demand and more is always needed
  • By giving blood regularly you can help other As and also people with AB blood types

Blood type O

  • 49% of Australians have type O blood
  • As type O blood is the most common, it is in constant demand and more is always needed
  • By giving blood regularly you can help other Os and also people with AB, A and B blood types

Blood type AB

  • Just 3% of Australians have type AB blood
  • Even though type AB is the rarest blood type, type AB plasma can help people with any blood type. So, more type AB plasma donors are always needed
  • By giving plasma regularly you can help people with AB, O, B and A blood types

(Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Service)

So why is it important to know your blood type?

First of all, some blood types are significantly rarer than others. As a result, donations for these blood types are often in high need.

On the flip side, other blood types are much more common and compatible with other blood types. This means that the need for them also is much higher.

Lastly, knowing your blood type might save you or someone you loves’ life. If there ever comes a time where someone you know requires an urgent blood donation, knowing your type means you can become an instant donor to them. Similarly, knowing your blood type can also save your life. This is where your blood donor card shines. If you were ever in any sort of situation where you required an urgent donation, a person would be able to find out your blood type simply by checking your blood donor card.

Blood types graph

(Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Service)

So why not donate blood today?

Not only will you be instantly saving three lives, but you could potentially save your or a loved ones life in the future.

Source:

Australian Red Cross Blood Service, n.d, Blood Types, http://www.donateblood.com.au/about-blood/types

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The reason why blood and donor screening is important

Image

(Image Source: Medindia) 

Recently we’ve had a few queries about why certain groups of people in society are excluded from donating blood. They key reason for why only particular types of people can donate comes down to:

1. the health and safety of the donor

2. the safety of the blood that is being supplied to a blood transfusion patient.

Australia has one of the most safest blood supplies in the world, which is essential when your donation is helping a person that is already ill.

When you give blood, you’re tested for your ABO (blood type), Rh group (positive or negative) and red cell antibodies.

Using seven different types of tests, you are also tested for five transfusion- transmissible infectious diseases:

  1. HIV/AIDS
  2. hepatitis B
  3. hepatitis C
  4. human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV)
  5. syphilis.

These tests specifically check for the surface antigen of hepatitis B and the antibodies for HIV-1, HIV-2, hepatitis C and HTLV types I and II.

They also test for the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of HIV-1, hepatitis B and hepatitis C using nucleic acid testing (NAT). RNA is like the genetic material of diseases.

By testing a potential donor’s blood for RNA using this type of testing, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is able to increase the safety of the blood supply by significantly reducing the ‘window period’ between when a disease is contracted and when it can be detected. In comparison, many other tests only detect the antibodies of the disease, something that usually takes a long time to develop in the body.

Although NAT testing reduces the ‘window period’, people who fall under certain categories such as have gone overseas to certain destinations, recently got a tattoo, conducted in any male to male sexual activity and has ever injected a drug not prescribed by a medical professional are unable to donate. This is purely avoid the risk of potentially passing on a transfusion- transmissible infectious disease, as the test only reduces the window period not eliminates it.

Even though this means that not every Australian is able to contribute to the increasing need for blood donations, it’s better to be proactive than reactive, especially when blood donations are used to save lives.

So what do we suggest to people who would like to help blood donations but are unable to donate?

Getting the word out there about donating blood is a fantastic start. Try informing and encouraging friends and family members about why they should donate blood and support them through the process.

It’s amazing what a little encouragement can do.

For more information about who can donate and why, visit the Australian Red Cross Blood Donation’s FAQ’s: http://www.donateblood.com.au/faq

or simply take the eligibility quiz: http://www.donateblood.com.au/who-can-give/am-i-eligible

Source:

Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Ensuring Blood Safety, n.d, http://www.donateblood.com.au/about-blood/ensuring-safety


Leave a comment

How to holiday and save lives

Image

So you’ve just decided to go on a holiday getaway to a strange exotic land.

But before you go, there’s so many things to do- book your flights and accommodation, N/A your time at work, make sure your passport is still valid, research the sites and activities you want to do, get your immunisations, ask your boss for extra shifts at work for spending money, pack your life into one little suitcase, hit the gym for a killer beach body… the list goes on.

With all these things to check off your list before you go, it’s easy to forget that your holiday may affect when you donate blood next. In fact, according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, travelling is one of the key reasons why Australians aged between 18-24 don’t donate blood.

So what can you do to ensure you save lives and go on holidays guilt free?

One of the easiest ways is to make donating blood part of your pre- holiday preparation. Before you get your holiday immunisations, head down to your local blood donation centre and donate blood. It will also reassure you that you’re going overseas healthy as they check your iron levels, blood pressure and overall blood health.

However, if you do forget, most people are able to donate blood again after four months from when you come back to Australia. Sometimes you may no have to even wait, as many countries are risk free and don’t require you to wait to donate.

Finding out when you’re able to donate once you’ve returned overseas is easy. Simply visit The Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s  Donating After Travelling page and choose your destination from the drop down menu. You’ll find information on the disease and how long you have to wait until you can donate again.

To book an appointment to donate blood, give the Australian Red Cross Blood Service a call on 13 14 95 or simply visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/make-appointment


7 Comments

Five reasons that will make you want to donate blood

Image

1. It’s the quickest and easiest way to save someone’s life- Let’s face it, we all want to make a difference, but many of us don’t feel we have the time to. Donating blood is a quick and easy way to impact someone’s life. The whole process only takes up a mere hour of you day, and your donation can save up to three lives.

2. Someone we know will require a blood donation– Blood donations are actually more common than most of us think. One in three Australians will need a blood donation in their lifetime. However at the moment, only one in 30 Australians donate blood.

3. Most blood donations go towards treating people with serious illnesses– It’s safe to argue that many people believe that most blood donations go towards surgical patients. However, more than a third of blood donations go towards treating people with cancer and blood diseases such as leukaemia, aplastic anemia and lymphoma. Other types of people that blood donations help include surgical patients, heart, stomach and kidney disease sufferers, orthopaedic patients, pregnant women, new mothers, young children and trauma patients

4. It’s good for your health- Whilst taking 10% of your blood may sound daunting, donating blood actually has many health benefits. It reduces the risk of heart disease, liver, lung, colon stomach and throat cancers. It also enables your body to replenish blood, which helps the body stay healthy, function better and work productively.

5. It’s a really easy, pain free process– Do you enjoy laying down and doing nothing? Donating blood is basically procrastinating for a cause. All you have to do is turn up to the blood donation centre, get a quick health check and chill out for an hour- the trained nurses do the rest. After all your not- so- hard work, you get a free feed- score!

To find your closest donation centre, call the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 or visit http://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/donor-centre

Sources:

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service- Blood Donation Fact Sheet- http://www.donateblood.com.au/files/2013BloodServiceStatisics_S.pdf

Lifehack- 8 Benefits of Donating Blood That You May Not Know About- http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/8-benefits-donating-blood-that-you-may-not-know-about.html


5 Comments

Why Gen Y don’t donate blood: The answers may surprise you!

 

If you asked someone why they don’t donate blood, what answers would you expect? A fear of needles? Concerns of running out of blood? Don’t know where to donate?

What about because Europe’s on sale?

A study conducted by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service discovered that whilst Australians between 18- 25 are highly motivated to donate blood, reasons such as travelling, changes in lifestyle, inconvenience, a lack of control in the process and getting a tattoo prevented them becoming repeated donors.

They found that getting Gen Y’ers motivated to donate wasn’t the problem; it was more that the blood donation process wasn’t Gen Y friendly. 

Sound familiar?

Between the everyday task of performing a balancing act between our education, working, procrastinating and maintaining a social life for sanity reasons, booking an appointment to donate blood can seem a little inconvenient.

To make it worse, the excitement of getting an international tan or your favorite Flume lyrics tattooed on your forearm often leaves donating blood the last thing on your mind.

So what can you do to make sure you save three lives whilst making sure yours is still awesome?

Think of donating blood as part of your pre- holiday or tattoo pump up process. Instead of getting a tattoo or travelling as a limit, think of it as an opportunity to donate blood.

Finding out when your university or TAFE is holding a blood drive is another way to make blood donation a simpler process. Instead of watching YouTube videos in the library between classes, visit the blood van and donate. You’ll contribute to an awesome cause and get a free meal at the same time- score!

The most important solution is remembering that the blood donating process is actually quite quick. Once you’ve donated blood before, the prelim testing isn’t required. All that’s left for you to do is rock up to your local Australian Red Cross Blood Donation centre, pull up a sleeve and enjoy some guilt free relaxation.

After all, it only takes an hour of your time (or an episode of Breaking Bad) to change someone’s life.