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A few days ago my fellow Scibloggers & I had a bit of a discussion around blood donations (as part of a wider discussion of issues relating to the disastrous earthquake in CHristchurch on Tuesday 22 February). While at present the Blood Service isn’t calling for extra donors, I thought I’d write another post on donation anyway – we need 3100 donations each & every week (700 of those in my local region, the Waikato) to keep up with normal demand, & a quick look around those reclining on couches round our local donor centre would indicate that the average donor isn’t getting any younger. So there’s a need for new blood (excuse the dreadful pun) & with the Blood Service on campus this week I thought it would be good to draw attention to that. (And a big ‘thank you!’ to all our students who have gone along to the Rec Centre & rolled up their sleeves for the cause.)

Every blood donation is an act that has the potential to touch a number of lives. My siblings & I were enormously grateful to the unknown donors whose simple, caring act helped provide the blood that improved my mother’s quality of life during her (mercifully brief) battle with cancer. The memory of that is one of the reasons that I became a regular donor myself. And other donors gave the blood that my elderly father-in-law needed as a ‘top-up’ during major surgery earlier this week. (He might actually have ended up with some of my platelets – but of course I’ll never know.)

So, if you’re ever considered the possibility of giving blood – take the next step. Contact the New Zealand Blood Service and talk to them to see if you meet the criteria. At the cost of maybe 30 minutes of your time every 3 months or so (for whole-blood donors) you can make a real difference to the lives of others.