News

Become a blood donor and save lives

By McIvor Times

DID you know it takes 18 people donating blood on a monthly basis to treat just one person with blood cancer?

This week is National Blood Donor Week from Sunday to Saturday and the Leukaemia Foundation is challenging more people, including the people of Heathcote to step up and become a regular blood donor.

More than 100,000 Australians are affected by blood cancer. Many require regular donated blood products to manage their cancer and survive.

What the average person doesn’t realise, is the sheer volume of blood needed to support blood cancer patients.

More than a third of all blood donations (34 per cent) collected by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service go towards supporting cancer patients and people living with blood diseases – and with good reason.

One 470ml blood donation unit includes red cells, plasma and platelets. On average, one acute leukaemia patient will need nine units – or 2.25 litres – of red blood cells each month, or just over 1 litre (36 units) of platelets each month during treatment.

This means for every blood cancer patient in Heathcote we need 18 people to roll up their sleeves every month – not just once, but for every month of that person’s treatment time. This can be anything from eight months (average) through to several years.

With 35 people diagnosed every day with blood cancer in Australia, this is expected to increase to almost 50 people per day by 2025. Therefore, even more Australians will become critically reliant on blood products in the future.

The need for blood products to support blood cancer patients doesn’t stop, so neither should blood donations. This is why we are calling on the Heathcote and district community to make blood donation part of a regular routine.

Take the leap and become a donor legend today.

Find out more about how you can support people living with blood cancer in your community at leukaemia.org.au or to join fight against blood cancer by making a blood donation, visit www.donateblood.com.au.