Roll up your sleeves for a worthy cause

It’s World Blood Donor Day — and we are being encouraged to roll up our sleeves and donate for a worthy cause.

Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie said blood and blood products are a critical component of health care.

“Each year there are almost 500,000 blood donors in Australia who generously make over 1 million donations each year,” Minister Gillespie said.

“Globally more than 112 million blood donations are collected each year.

“If you think about the fact that, in Australia, a single blood donation when separated into its components, can help at least three different people and make up to 22 different products, including potentially life-saving immunisations, it’s simply remarkable.

“But, our national and global blood services rely solely on the generosity of donors for the supply of fresh and plasma derived blood products.

“I encourage all Australians, if they are able to, to give blood and give regularly. Currently, only one in 30 people donate, but one in three people will require blood in their lifetime. The act donating of blood, in many ways is a lifesaving gift.”

The Federal Coalition Government in conjunction with states and territories is committed to ensuring that there is a safe and secure supply of blood to meet the clinical needs of our patients, with a combined investment of over $1 billion annually to fund the supply of blood and blood products in Australia.

World Blood Donor Day is held annually on 14 June, with this year’s focus on blood donation in emergencies, with the campaign theme being ‘give blood — give now — give often’.

More than half of the world’s 112 million annual blood donations are collected in high income countries, which account for 19 per cent of the world’s population. However, up to 65 per cent of all blood transfusions are given to children under the age of five in developing nations, while the majority of all blood transfusions in developed nations go to those over 65 years of age.

More information about donating blood is available from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service online at www.donateblood.com.au

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