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Blood Service Looking to Tap Vein of Past Donors

Media Release
13 June 2008
Friday 13 June 2008

NZ Blood Service Looking to Tap Vein of Past Donors

If you have donated blood in the past, the NZ Blood Service is calling on you to return and become a regular donor. Many Happy Returns is the theme for World Blood Donor Day 2008 on Friday 13th June. Our national blood service needs current and past donors to give blood regularly to reverse a decline in current donors.

The target for the World Blood Donor Day campaign in 2008 is for 5000 former donors to contact NZ Blood Service during the month of June to make an appointment to donate. Last year saw over 3,000 people drop off the database. NZ Blood Service also welcomes enquiries from potential new donors.

A recent online survey showed that while 44% of people had donated blood before, only 4% of those people surveyed had donated blood in the last 12 months. The vast majority had not donated in the past 10 years.

Paul Hayes, Marketing Manager, NZ Blood Service says, “We have great public support and want to thank all of our donors who donate regularly. While people are very willing to donate, most don’t realise just how important it is to be a regular donor. We need those people who have donated in the past to take action and update their details so we can call on them when we need to. All they need to do is call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.

“New Zealand needs over 3,000 units of blood each week to meet demand. If the current trend continues, the number of units collected will eventually fall short of that mark – in the past year, only 105,000 New Zealanders donated blood. Our regular donors are the life-blood of the service. We sincerely thank these people and need others to follow suit.”

Says Mr Hayes, “One blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives: A person can donate up to four times a year, potentially helping up to twelve people who need it. But even once a year would be immensely valuable to us if they make it a regular event.”

The survey showed that 34% of those who had donated blood previously believe they are now no longer eligible. However, some eligibility criteria have recently changed. People can check if they are eligible by visiting or call one of the donor centres to speak with a nurse. It is increasingly important for those that are eligible to continue coming back.

World Blood Donor Day is a global celebration of the importance of voluntary blood donation as well as being a means to thank those who are already regular donors.


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