Gympie’s Karen Brus donates plasma in the Red Cross Blood Service van yesterday. Nurse Natalie Sahic said this procedure took about 45min to an hour and could be done every two weeks.
Gympie’s Karen Brus donates plasma in the Red Cross Blood Service van yesterday. Nurse Natalie Sahic said this procedure took about 45min to an hour and could be done every two weeks. Renee Pilcher

Blood to flow more

THE Australian Red Cross Blood Service has announced it will be increasing the number of visits to Gympie as support for the service reaches new heights in the region.

Currently the Blood Service visits Nelson Reserve twice every three months.

However, this will be changing to a visit every month from March as the need for blood and blood products increases.

The change will also mean extra days will be added, including Saturdays, which will makes it more convenient for residents when choosing a day to give blood.

Blood Service spokesperson Daniel Rowling said Gympie people had been very generous, but even more residents would be needed to meet the growing demand.

"It is estimated the need for blood and blood products such as plasma will double over the next 10 years," Mr Rowling said.

"That's a very confronting thought considering currently only one in 30 people are regular blood donors, but one in three people will need blood at some point in their lives."

With the additional visit, the number of donations required in Gympie each year will increase from 2000 to more than 2600.

With each donation helping to save the lives of three people, this will be an extra 1800 lives potentially saved.

The demand for plasma is expected to double in the next decade, due to developments in medical treatments and an aging population.

The red blood cells are returned to the donator so they are able to give blood every two weeks.

If you are the type to save lives and would like to help meet the increasing demand, make an appointment or find out more, phone 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.

A couple of spots are still available in the blood van tomorrow.

Those who are willing need to phone the above number to make an appointment.

The next visit to Nelson Reserve will be March 12-16.

The van will be in Imbil on February 29.

 

What is plasma?

  • Plasma is more than 90% water and is a protein-rich liquid that helps provide immunity.
  • It makes up about 55% of our blood and is golden in colour.
  • Plasma also transports blood cells and platelets around our body.
  • The average person has approximately 5 litres of blood, 2.7 - 3 litres of which is plasma.
  • Donated plasma is 'liquid gold' - the most versatile component of blood used to make 17 different products for patients with trauma, burns, cancer and blood diseases.
  • It is estimated the need for blood and blood products such as plasma will double over the next 10 years
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