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A Huge Thank You To New Zealand’s 110,000 Essential Blood Donors

This World Blood Donor Day New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is asking all New Zealanders to take time to say ‘thank you’ to the country’s 110,000 blood donors.

“Every 18 minutes somewhere in New Zealand someone needs lifesaving blood or plasma,” says Asuka Burge, New Zealand Blood Service, National Manager Marketing and Communications. “We have so much to be thankful for in New Zealand. Imagine going through a traumatic event resulting in life or death injuries or discovering you have a life-threatening illness that will require blood and blood products as a key part of your treatment. Then imagine having to wonder if the blood or plasma will actually be available when you need it. Thankfully, we never have to worry about this thanks to our amazing community of blood donors.”

The past 15-months have been a challenging time for New Zealand from the Christchurch Mosque attacks, to the Whakaari /White Island eruption and now COVID-19, but throughout it all New Zealand’s blood donors have ensured that blood and blood products have been available to help save lives.

“Blood donors make up less than 4% of the eligible population but provide an essential service that plays a vital role in the health of our nation. Our donors tell us they donate because they feel it is important to do their bit, but they probably don’t realise they are the silent heroes behind some of New Zealand’s most challenging recent events,” continues Ms Burge.

“Following the Christchurch mosque attacks in March 2019, 520 units of red cells, platelets, cryoprecipitate and fresh frozen plasma went directly to help save lives. In the aftermath of the Whakaari eruption, blood and blood products made up of donations from 751 donors were used to help save 12 critically injured patients.”

“And through the COVID-19 lockdown our donor centres remained full. An amazing 15,300 Kiwis put aside personal anxiety and put their faith in our service to ensure blood was available whenever and wherever it was needed. Blood donors save lives”

Those interested in becoming a blood donor should download the app, visit nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325 (0800 GIVE BLOOD) and book an appointment to donate.

Facts about blood donation in New Zealand:

  • Every year on and around June 14th, New Zealand celebrates World Blood Donor Day and our country’s 110,000 amazing blood donors.
  • June 14th is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system.
  • Less than 4% of eligible New Zealanders are registered to donate.
  • There are 110,000 wonderful blood donors in New Zealand, 11,000 are plasma donors. To keep up with demand NZBS needs to double the plasma donor registry.
  • Every 18 minutes someone in New Zealand needs blood or plasma.
  • New Zealand Blood Service needs to collect over 3,500 donations every week to meet demand.
  • Every whole blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives.
  • There is no substitute to blood – blood donors save lives.
  • Red cells only have a shelf life of 35 days and platelets need to be transfused within seven days.

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