by Sam Talbot
You might remember late last year when we spoke about the amazing number of blood donations SSAA members had been making across Australia. Well, thanks to the generous efforts from those members we managed to save more than 1800 lives during 2017. At a recent presentation by the Australian Red Cross, SSAA was awarded place number 72 in Australia for most donations made by an organisation. However, with almost 190,000 members across Australia, we think we can do much better.
So far in 2018 we are off to a good start with more than 100 donations already being made but there is still a lot of time to help out this year. Donating blood is a great way to show Australia just how giving and selfless the shooting community is.
SSAA member Serena Prokop is a Donor Service Consultant at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and is the spearhead of our SSAA blood donations. She wants as many SSAA members as possible to not only donate blood but also plasma.
“In 2018, we would love our members to get on board with donating plasma. Each year the blood service is able to find ways to better manage its blood supply, which means the need for red cells is slowly decreasing, but plasma donations are constantly in demand,” said Serena.
“Plasma is one of the most versatile components of our blood and is currently used to treat a growing number of life-threatening conditions and up to 18 vital medical treatments.
“This includes making vaccinations for chickenpox, measles and tetanus, protecting patients with immune deficiencies, treating brain disorders, protecting against RH disease in newborns, fighting infection during bone marrow transplants and much more,” she added.
“Donors can donate plasma as often as every two weeks, so imagine how many donations the SSAA could achieve in a year if we started donating even more often! Next time you attend your appointment or call the Blood Service, have a chat to the friendly staff about donating plasma.”
If you are a SSAA member and you are already donating blood or you want to start donating, make sure you sign up to join the Red25 group. You can become part of the group as an SSAA member and have your donations contribute to our tally by asking your consultant when you call the Blood Service to book an appointment on 13 14 95. Otherwise, you can go to donateblood.com.au/red25 and register to join the group online. If you are unable to donate, you can always encourage friends or family that are eligible to donate and join the Red25 group.
Also, we are currently comfortably ahead of both Animals Australia and the Queensland Greens in donations so far in 2018. A bit of friendly rivalry might be the push you need to register with the SSAA team and donate.
Serena would also like to mention that if you are a donor of blood type A, O or B, your contribution is even more valuable. To learn more, take a look at the missing type campaign being run by the Australian Red Cross.