5 things you should know about World Blood Donor Day | Leukaemia Foundation

5 things you should know about World Blood Donor Day

1. It’s an international event held every year on June 14

It serves to raise awareness about the ongoing need for donations of blood and blood products and to thank all the wonderful donors for their life-saving contributions!

World Blood Donor Day kicks off Australia’s National Blood Donor Week. In 2020, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is giving thanks for the 1.5 million donations Aussies made last year. Thank you!

2. There are three main types of blood donation

The roughly five litres of blood in your body is made up of several useful things including red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Learn more about Blood Basics.

You may be able to donate any of the three and each is used for a different medical treatment.

It’s your blood type that determines the best donation for you to make. Whatever your type, though, most donors tell the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood giving blood isn’t as scary as they thought it would be!

3. Donated blood is very very important to people with blood cancer

Did you know that one third of donated red cells in Australia are used to help treat people with cancer and other blood diseases?

Blood donations are literally life-saving for many people with different types of blood cancer including lymphoma, leukaemia or myeloma.

For example donated platelets help people with leukaemia during chemotherapy or bone marrow transplants. Red blood cells and plasma can be life-saving for people with cancer and blood diseases, too.

It does vary but someone with acute leukaemia typically needs anywhere between 5 and 15 units of blood every month during treatment.

4. Every blood donation can help save three lives

Your blood is really versatile and can go on to be made into a whopping 22 different medical treatments to help people with blood cancer, among many others.

In Australia, 29,000 donations are needed every single week!

It often takes at least nine people donating blood each month to help just one person undergoing treatment for blood cancer.

Amber Walker needs fortnightly blood transfusions after being diagnosed with blood cancer. Read the 27-year-old’s story.

5. You may be able to give blood yourself

If you’re 18-76 years old, healthy and weigh over 50kg, you may be able to give blood. Visit donateblood.com.au to see if you’re eligible or to make an appointment.

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