VICTORIA’S hard-working emergency services are going head-to-head to see who can donate the most blood as part of a campaign to save 10,000 lives.
Earlier this month, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy launched the 2018 Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s Emergency Blood Challenge at the Melbourne CBD Donor Centre.
The race is on among police, paramedics, firefighters and SES volunteers to see which agency can make the most blood donations and save the most lives, and boost blood stocks for the winter season.
Last year, Victoria Police edged out the CFA and Ambulance Victoria to claim the top prize. In total, Victoria’s emergency services personnel made 3,102 donations – saving 9,306 lives.
When winter arrives, the Red Cross Blood Service often experiences a drop-off in donor numbers, but the demand for blood remains high all year round.
As a result, the state government gives the National Blood Authority $110 million for the resources it needs to make sure hospitals can access blood and blood products for patient care.
About 25,000 blood donations are needed every single week in Australia to meet patient demand, while every blood donation can save up to three lives.
One in three Australians will require blood in their lifetime but only one in 30 is a blood donor.
“The race is on. We’re challenging our hardworking emergency services personnel to roll up their sleeves, brave the cold and give blood, and save lives,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Demand for live-saving blood donations never stops. That’s why it’s important we all heed the message to give blood for those who need it most.”
“Some of Victoria’s sickest patients are relying on our generosity to stay healthy and survive.”
To donate blood, call the Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 or head to donateblood.com.au.