Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 5 2009 Contents 17
id you know you can
save three lives in less
than an hour by donating
Every year more than 530,000
generous Australians give blood, helping
thousands of people in the treatment of cancer,
heart, stomach and bowel diseases, as well as
those hurt in accidents or mothers who experience
complications in pregnancies and childbirth.
But as we reach the halfway point in this,
the official Year of the Blood Donor, Australian
Red Cross Blood Service spokesperson, James
Aanensan said that more donors are needed if they
are to meet their target of 160,000 new donors.
“One in three people will need blood during
their lifetime, yet only one in 30 actually donates,”
Mr Aanensan said.
“Many people today would not be alive if it
wasn’t for Australia’s voluntary blood donors.
“We all believe that blood will be there if we
need it, but right now the health of the population
is riding on a very small percentage of people.”
While all donations are important, Mr
Aanensan said that Defence has a unique
opportunity to garner new donors from across the
“I think the people of Defence have a really
great opportunity to build on what are already
strong cultures of mateship and comradeship by
donating blood together,” Mr Aanensan said.
“The work done by Defence during times of
need in Australia is fantastic and I think giving
blood just adds another element to this wonderful
Mr Aanensan said that people who give blood
are united by their generosity and the desire to
give something back to the community.
“I know from experience that you get so
much from it, you feel very satisfied after you’ve
donated, and you walk away realising you’re
impacting on people’s lives in ways that you would
have never known before,” Mr Aanensan said.
The actual taking of blood takes about 10
minutes, with the pinch of the needle the only pain
you will feel. If you have ever had a body piercing,
chances are you have felt more pain from that
procedure than you ever will from a blood donation.
“The rest of the hour is spent during
registration taking personal information and
health records for your safety as well as others,”
Mr Aanensan said.
“Everything comes back to safety when
Harbouring a passion for blood since first
donating at 18 years of age, Major (MAJ) Gary
Schulz from Defence’s Catering Policy Cell is busy
planning a blood challenge for all Navy, Army and
Air Force personnel.
“Being in the ADF I’ve always felt that I was
healthy and therefore an ideal donor,” Mr Schulz said.
“There are many people who aren’t lucky
enough to be as healthy as most Service personnel
and so therefore we have the ability to provide our
liquid gold to help other people out.”
MAJ Schulz said the challenge will be based
on litres donated, and has earmarked the latter
part of this year for a start date.
“Going into the holiday season is one of the
most critical times for blood demand in Australia,”
MAJ Schulz said.
Club Red provides an opportunity for any
group of people in Defence, be it large or small,
Service or APS, to get together and do something
special by regularly donating blood.
How to join Club Red
select a Club Red coordinator: this can be
anyone within your team who has the enthusiasm
and resources to promote the Program and educate
donors within your area. The coordinator could be
an existing donor or someone who is unable to
give blood but is passionate about the cause.
Register your group: complete the Club Red
registration form from www.donateblood.com.au
Ask people to donate together: you will
receive a toolkit to help your recruitment campaign
• information about the eligibility criteria
• promotional materials, and
• information about the donation process
Make a group appointment: allow two to
four weeks notice if possible; arranging a donation
time that is suitable to your group is important to
us. By working together the Red Cross will tailor
appointments to suit your team’s requirements.
• One in three Australians will need blood.
Only one in 30 give blood.
• 21 000 blood donations are used in Australia
• 160 000 new donors are needed this year
alone to meet the growing demand for blood.
• A donation of 470 ml of blood is less than 10
percent of your total blood volume.
• Each blood donation can save the lives of up
to three people.
• The demand for blood and blood products will
grow by 100 percent over the next 10 years.
• Your body keeps discarding and replenishing
blood all the time whether you give blood or
not – so you may as well put that spare blood
to good use and help save up to three lives as
you do it.
• Blood has a limited shelf life, so the need for
blood is constant.
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