Young Blood

Do a bloody good deed. Donate blood today.


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Where and when uni students can donate blood today

Image Source: The Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Image Source: The Australian Red Cross Blood Service

It’s finally the end of yet another semester and you’re finding yourself stuck on campus, with only minutes to spare commuting, eating and the occasional power nap. If you’re due for you next donation, or want to give it a crack before you finish up, jet off, or before you change your mind, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service has their donation centres spread far and wide this November and December, for your convenience. Find your university here:

University Of Wollongong Students

  • University of Wollongong
    • Thursday 31st October: 9am-4:30pm

University Of Newcastle Students

  • Calvary Mater Hospital
    • Thursday 31st October: 9:30am-3:30pm
  • Wallsend, Ausgrid (Formerly Energy Australia)
    • Thursday 12th December: 9am-2:30pm

University of Technology Sydney, University of New South Wales and University of Sydney Student

  • Town Hall Donor Centre
    • Monday: 8:30am-3:00pm
    • Tuesday: 7:30am-5:00pm
    • Wednesday: 7:30am-5:00pm
    • Thursday: 7:30am-5:00pm
    • Friday: 7:30am-5:00pm
    • Saturday: 8:30am-4:00pm
  • Elizabeth Street Donor Centre for Whole Blood Donations (check times for other donations here)
    • Monday: 7:30am-4:00pm
    • Tuesday: 7:30am-4:00pm
    • Wednesday: 7:30am-4:00pm
    • Thursday: 12:00pm-5:00pm
    • Friday: 7:30am-4:00pm

Macquarie University Students

  • Optus, Macquarie Park
    • 11th November – 15th November: 8:30am-2:00pm

Charles Sturt University Students

  • Bathurst McDonalds
    • 2nd December: 12:40pm-5:10pm
    • 3rd December: 9:10am-1:30pm
    • 4th December: 9:10am-3:40pm
    • 5th December: 9:10am-3:40pm
    • 23rd December: 12:40pm-5:10pm
    • 24th December: 9:10am-1:30pm
    • 30th December: 12:40pm-5:10pm
    • 31st December: 9:10am-1:40pm
    • 2nd January: 9:10am-3:40pm

Australian National University and University of Canberra Students

  • Belconnen Town Centre
    • 13th November: 9:00am-2:30pm
    • 14th November: 9:00am-2:30pm
    • 15th November: 8:50am-12:50pm
    • 18th November: 9:30am-3:00pm
    • 19th November: 9:00am-2:30pm
    • 20th November: 9:00am-2:30pm
    • 21st November: 9:00am-2:30pm
    • 22nd November: 8:50am-12:50pm
  • Australian National University
    • 3rd December: 11:00am-4:40pm
    • 4th December: 9:00am-2:30pm
    • 5th December: 11:00am-4:40pm
    • 6th December: 8:50am-12:50pm

If we have missed your university, or you would like some information on centres near your TAFE, please comment below and we will endeavour to bring you those details. To book your appointment at any of these centres, and more,  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.

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‘Bleed’ by example and donate plasma

Presenting at TEDxQUT not too long ago, research student and sessional academic, Dominic Kauter shared his idea on how to get more people donating plasma. And rightfully so.

Sure, the Red Cross can separate your whole blood donation and retrieve the plasma, but we agree with Dominic that young Aussies should be educated and aware of the need and uses for this component of blood.

So, what is plasma and what does it do?

In a nutshell, plasma is the yellow tinged liquid component of blood that holds the cells in suspension. It makes up about 55 per cent of your whole blood and contains important proteins, nutrients and clotting factors which are integral to preventing and stopping bleeding. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service recognises it as “the most versatile component of your blood [as] donated plasma makes up to 17 life-saving products that help patients with trauma, burns and blood diseases” and can be stored for up to one year after the day of donation.

How can you donate plasma?

The process for donating plasma is a little different to the regular whole blood donation, which you must have completed at least . Via a process called apheresis and a handy piece of machinery, the lovely people at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service are able to separate the plasma from your the rest of your blood. Red cells, white cells and platelets are returned to the donor, at the time of donation, with some saline over the course of around 45 minutes to an hour- plenty of time of you to kick back and relax!

As a result, you are able to donate plasma every 2-3 weeks and with every apheresis donation you make, you are able to donate a larger volume. This means you are potentially assisting more people in need and saving more lives- how cool is that?!

What is the criteria for a prospective plasma donor?

  • have given at least 1 successful whole blood donation in the past 2 years.
  • be between a male aged 18-65  or a female aged 20-65
  • weigh 50kg or more

Do you tick all these boxes? Please consider donating plasma today, especially if you can help the ARCBS with the particular need for blood type A, AB and B donations. To start donating plasma and helping others, 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.


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Facing your fears: Emily’s Story

There are so many reasons why people do not donate blood.

Perhaps they are ineligible. Maybe they believe they don’t have the time. Some are afraid and skeptical, while even more are unaware of the need for blood or the way to get involved and give. Guest blogger Emily Gordon, a 20-year-old student from Wollongong shares her story on how she got involved and reminds us that if at first you don’t succeed, don’t be disheartened. Try again- your willingness to make a difference is wonderful in itself.

Emily Gordon is a testament to the fact that if at first you don't succeed, try again.

Emily Gordon is a testament to the fact that if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

As I am studying a health degree, I am well aware of the importance of donating blood and how it can be literally lifesaving to person in need. I have always seen all the different ads on T.V. about donating blood and have always perceived it as such a worthwhile and real thing to do for the many people in need.

The real challenge for myself, when it comes to donating blood, is that I actually have a massive phobia of needles. Nonetheless, I was encouraged by my boyfriend to try and face my fear- we shouldn’t be afraid of saving lives! He came up with the idea that we would go and both donate together as he is a regular blood donor himself. At first I was hesitant, but then the idea grew on me and I psyched myself up to go, face my fear and do a good deed.

Upon arrival at the Blood Bank, I instantly felt at ease as the lady at the reception desk was so helpful with filling out all the forms and guiding me through the process. She went out of her way to ensure I was settled and was adequately hydrated. Unfortunately, however, anxiety got the better of me and the staff member that conducted my interview advised me that I should not go through with the donation. It was so reassuring to know that, although I went with every intention of giving blood, I was not pressured into it and all the staff went out of their way to ensure my wellbeing was the highest priority.

“It was so reassuring to know that, although I went with every intention of giving blood, I was not pressured into it and my wellbeing was the highest priority.”

I still  hope in the near future I’ll be able to donate blood and I do believe I have gotten one step closer to conquering my fear and helping others in this way.

I believe this campaign is fantastic in that it’s encouraging younger people to step up at take the initiative to give blood and I urge you all to try and give it a go! Donating money to a charity is all well and good, but donating something so real, straight from yourself, such as blood in my mind seems so much more useful – especially as you know it is going directly to the person in need, not getting caught up in the system and paying someones wage. I guess, in a way, blood could be described as liquid gold, it’s so valuable when you consider the real difference it makes to thousands of sick people globally.

To start donating blood and helping others, 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.


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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


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5 surprising health benefits of donating blood

ImageDonating blood is a selfless act that gives life to people without asking for anything in return, right?

In fact, donating blood has many more benefits than knowing that you’re helping save someone’s life.

It improves your heart health

Although it may seem that donating blood would put your body under more pressure to produce more blood, it actually helps your heart become healthier. Donating blood reduces the amount of iron in your body, which minimises the risk of heart attacks. According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, regular blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

It can lower the risk of cancer

These iron reductions in your body due to blood donations have also been found to reduce cancer risks.  The National Cancer Institute of Canada has found that regular blood donating can decrease the risk of numerous cancers including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers. So not only does donating blood keep your heart healthy, it also aids in keeping many of your vital organs healthy too.

It stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Whether or not you donate blood, your body is constantly replenishing its blood supply. In fact, within 24 hours, your blood supply is back to normal. Red blood cells usually take 4-8 weeks to completely replace. But don’t freak out about this- stimulating the production of red blood cells actually makes your body stay healthy, function more efficiently and work productively.

It burns off kilojoules, a lot of it

Want to burn over 2700 kilojoules in an hour? The University of California in San Diego have estimated that one blood donation burns up to 650 calories, or 2700 kilojoules. That’s the equivalent of running for an hour and 40 minutes! Although donating blood shouldn’t be used to loose weight, sitting down and saving three lives beats spending over an hour in the gym!

Sources:

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service , Frequently Asked Questions, n.d, http://www.donateblood.com.au/faq

Lifehack, 8 Benefits of Donating Blood, 2013, http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/8-benefits-donating-blood-that-you-may-not-know-about.html

Medindia, Blood donation health benefits, and side effects, http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/blood-donation-health-benefits-and-side-effects.htm


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8 Myths About Donating Blood

Image

(Image Source: Australian Red Cross Blood Service)

Myth: Donating blood hurts

This is the most common myth amongst people who haven’t donated before. Donating blood barely hurts- the only pain you’ll experience will be no more than a needle prick. The nurses are trained professionals that are very good at what they do, and make every effort to ensure that your donating experience is pleasant.

Myth: I have to rest for a day after I’ve donated blood

Your energy levels won’t be affected when you donate blood. Yes, this means that you’ll have no excuse to skip your class the day after.

As long you eat a decent meal beforehand and drink plenty of water throughout the day, you should be fine. However, it is recommended that you avoid high- energy activities 12 hours after your donation.

Myth: I have diabetes, I can’t donate blood

As long as you have no complications with your diabetes and haven’t used bovine (cattle-derived) insulin in the past, you should have no problems donating blood. If you are unsure about your eligibility, give the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Medical Services a call on 13 14 95.

If you’re still concerned on the day of your donation, the staff will be more than happy to help you.

Myth: Donating blood isn’t safe

Donating blood is a very safe process. In fact, Australia’s blood services are some of the safest in the world.

Each donation is collected through a new, sterile needle that is used once and then discarded. Further, every donor is put through a screening process every time they donate blood which is designed to keep the donor and the person who receives the donation safe.

Myth: Donating blood takes a long time

The whole blood donation process takes about an hour from arrival to resting. Once you fill in the questionnaire and are screened by staff, the process of donating only takes about 5-10 minutes in total. Afterwards, it is recommended that you rest for a further 15 minutes.

Myth: They take out a lot of my blood

Only about 10% of your total blood volume is taken when you donate blood. Regardless of whether you donate blood or not, your body is continually replenishing your blood all the time, so this amount is quickly replaced.

Myth: I can’t give blood because I’m scared of needles

It’s perfectly normal to feel scared or nervous when you donate blood for the first time. In fact most people (including us!) feel anxious the first time. However, it’s a momentary discomfort for the bloody good deed of saving someone’s life.

 

Myth: I can’t donate blood because I’m on medication

Most prescribed medications don’t prevent someone from donating blood. However, you should always inform staff about what medications you’re taking. If you want to find about whether you’re eligible, give the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Medical Services a call on 13 14 95.

For more information visit the Australian Red Cross Blood Service FAQs: http://www.donateblood.com.au/faq

Source:

Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Frequently Asked Questions, n.d, http://www.donateblood.com.au/faq


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Celebrities give blood too

We have noticed variations of this tweet doing the rounds of late and it got us thinking; how much celebrity support does blood donation receive?

Due to their status and lifestyle, celebrities are often notorious for being shallow. That said, many use theses attributes to do good and support significant causes. We’ve rounded up a few of the celebrities who use their influence to save lives by supporting blood donation and actually donating blood themselves!

Australian celebrity chef, television personality and author Curtis Stone donates blood with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Image Source: The Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Australian celebrity chef, television personality and author Curtis Stone donates blood with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Image Source: The Australian Red Cross Blood Service

Life as We Know It actor, Josh Dumahel supports the American Red Cross. Image Source: American Red Cross

Life as We Know It actor, Josh Dumahel supports the American Red Cross. Image Source: American Red Cross

Kristin Cavallari from TV show, The Hills, donates bloods in Hollywood, California.

Kristin Cavallari from TV show, The Hills, donates bloods in Hollywood, California.

Actor and martial arts legend Jackie Chan is regular blood donor in Hong Kong. Source: Blood Service, CA

Actor and martial arts legend Jackie Chan is regular blood donor in Hong Kong. Source: Blood Service, CA

We even found this clipping from an 1984 edition of The Spokesman Review which details a few celebs who paid the American Red Cross a visit, including Steve Allen and William Shatner.

The Spokesman Review, October 9 1984.

The Spokesman Review, October 9 1984.

Do you know of any other celebrities who donate blood? Let us know below! 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.