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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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.


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Needlessly afraid of needles?

Distracting yourself is a great way to tackle your fear of needles. Image source: Time and Date

Distracting yourself is a great way to tackle your fear of needles. Image source: Time and Date

Are you afraid of needles? Try these phobias on for size:

Belonephobia: the fear of needles.
Aichmophobia: the fear of pointed objects.
Algophobia: n the fear of pain.
Trypanophobia: the fear of injections.

If needles freak you out, you certainly are not alone. Approximately 22 per cent of Australians are so afraid of needles that they avoid many medical procedures, according to research conducted by Griffith University. The study found that this was a huge detriment to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, with 77 per cent of participants admitting it stopped them from donating blood!

So, we’ve put together a list of tips with the help of the American Red Cross to ensure that you desire to do a bloody good deed and donate blood wins over your fear of needles.

  • Keep your eye on the prize: Focus on the difference your donation will be making. You can help save three lives and, compared to the slight, momentary pinch you feel when giving blood, your sense of accomplishment is timeless and the affects you’ve made can last a lifetime.
  • Don’t make it a big deal: Try not to think about the needle, or getting the needle. Don’t worry about the size of the needle, and don’t stress over the pain- most first time donors say it’s painless anyway! If you keep stressing over the needle before you even get there, you’re just creating a sense of anxiety that, in the long run, will make the entire process, and the needle itself, much more uncomfortable.
  • Know what to expect: It’s a great idea to be aware. Read up on the whole donation process, so that when you arrive at your appointment, you will feel ready, prepared and won’t be thrown off guard. Don’t hesitate to ask questions while you’re there as well- the friendly staff are more than happy to help!
  • Distract yourself: Pick up a magazine from the newsagent on your way, or bring a book. Your favourite tunes or a friend for moral support or to chat with can be incredibly helpful. Some say pinching yourself when the needle goes in can also be effective. Figure out what works for you and indulge in it!
  • Share your fear: Tell the Australian Red Cross Blood Service staff about your fear in advance. This way, they are aware and able to talk with you and assist you during the donation process.

Andrew B, who made his 30th donation just last weekend, shared this advice with us via Twitter (@youngbloodNSW):

https://twitter.com/sheddingmyfat/status/393661579193221121

Do you have any tips or tricks that you use? We’d love to hear about them! If you’re ready to tackle your fear book an appointment to donate blood, by calling the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 or simply visiting https://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/make-appointment.


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Tattoos and blood donation

You can donate six months after getting a tattoo. Image Source: The Australian Red Cross Blood Service

You can donate six months after getting a tattoo. Image Source: The Australian Red Cross Blood Service

In July 2012, The Daily Telegraph (Australia) reported that more than 9300 people under the age of 30 have been turned away by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) since 2004 because of a fresh tattoo.

Kathy Bowlen, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross, said that many blood donations are missed because of fresh tattoos Many prospective donors simply don’t come back after they have been deferred because of a new tattoo, or self defer, as they mistakenly believe they cannot donate once they have a tattoo.

So, we wanted to clarify and flesh out this misconception for our inked supporters- especially as they are a group who are certainly not afraid of needles! Essentially, you are able to donate blood six months after getting a tattoo. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service amended this time threshold in July 2010, lowering it from 12 months to six months as testing procedures for hepatitis and other blood born diseases have become more refined.

So, how can you manage your tattoos and blood donations?

Try and donate before first tattoo, or try get all your ink done in a short time span. Image Source: news4jax

Try and donate before your first tattoo, or try get all your ink done in a short time span. Image Source: news4jax

We recommend trying to get in and donate before your first session for your first or next tattoo. This is the easiest and quickest way to make sure you can make sure you do your bloody good deed and save three lives before you get inked. Otherwise, especially if you have lots of tattoos planned, try to get them done in a short time span so the wait to donate is not so long.

We urge you to try and implement one of these strategies as the current rise in tattoos is, of course, having an inverse effect on the nation’s blood supplies, both current and future as the ARCBS need young Australians to become donors.

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


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How does donated blood get used?

How donated blood is used

Image source: Australian Red Cross Blood Servcie

There are three main components that make up our blood- red blood cells,  plasma and platelets. Often, these components are separated to provide the most appropriate treatment to the one in every three Australians who require blood, or blood products, in their lifetime. We checked out the information available at The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS, 2013) and the Better Health Channel (2013) to bring you our run-through of what you’re donating and how it is used:

Red Blood Cells

These are the cells that carry oxygen through your blood and, at 42 days, have the longest shelf life of all the components. Most blood recipients receive these in order to boost the oxygen-carrying abilities of their blood. The majority of donated blood goes to people with cancer, those who are undergoing surgery, as well as those who have been suffered a severe accident and/or burns.

Plasma

Plasma is the liquid component of blood that holds the cells in suspension. It makes up about 55 per cent and contains important proteins, nutrients and clotting factors which are integral to preventing and stopping bleeding. ARCBS 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.” Plasma can be stored for up to one year after the day of donation.

Platelets

Platelets are essential for ensuring the blood can clot in patients with a low platelet count or non-functioning platelets. They can be stored for up to five says and the ARCBS says that this usually aids those who are bleeding, or are at a high risk of bleeding, as a result of high dose chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, major surgery, liver disease or severe trauma and haemorrhaging. Platelets also contribute to the repair of damaged body tissue.

Of course, all these components have an expiry date, so to speak, and continuous donations are needed to ensure a constant supply of blood and blood products. If you are an eligible donor, please consider donating today. Check out http://www.donateblood.com.au for more information and to book an appointment.