Blood donations: Donors in Central West save more than 40,000 lives in a single year

LIFE GIVERS: Central West residents gave the gift of life 13,420 times over last year. Photo: FILE
LIFE GIVERS: Central West residents gave the gift of life 13,420 times over last year. Photo: FILE

LAST year more than 40,000 lives were saved thanks to the generosity of blood donors across the Central West.

During 2018, there were 13,420 blood donations made across the region which represented a drop on the 13,951 donations received in the year before.

Despite the decline in donations, an Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) spokeswoman said that with three lives saved from every donation that amounted to 40,260 lives saved during 2018.

When it comes to bleeding for a good cause Orange led the way with more blood and plasma donations made during 2018 than any other Central West location.

There were 4162 blood donations made in Orange, with a further 3386 in Dubbo and 5872 made through a mobile blood donor centre that tours through 17 locations in the region.

Donations were slightly down across the board compared to the year prior, when 4250 were made in Orange, 3580 in Dubbo and 6121 through the mobile centres.

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When it comes to blood donations made through the touring mobile blood donor centre, Bathurst led the way last year with 2160 of the total 5872 donations made in that city.

The top five mobile donor locations is rounded out with Mudgee in second place with 1200 blood donations made last year followed by Young (760 donations), Lithgow (660) and Cowra (480).

Plasma is also regularly donated by people across the Central West, with the number of donations increasing year-on-year.

Last year, 7886 plasma donations were made which was up up 2.4 per cent on the year before when 7703 donations were received.

Plasma can only be donated at the region’s permanent donor centres which are located in Dubbo and Orange.

“Our blood donor centres provide regular openings hours, open six days per week, making it easy for locals in those areas to give,” the ARCBS spokeswoman said.

“They also have the flexibility to collect plasma and whole blood, meaning we can respond to changing blood demand on a daily basis.

“Each day, this can change, depending on what blood types/donation types are needed most by hospitals across the state.”

The ARCBS spokeswoman said there were no current plans to introduce any other temperament blood and plasma donor centres into the region.

“The existing network of donor centres and mobiles across NSW have the capacity to collect what is required, our job is to increase the number of donors in those areas – around three per cent of the population donate – and work on encouraging people to give more frequently. The average is one to two times per year,” she said.

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