CBD blood donation centre inspiring hope and “enhancing lives”
While at times it can feel as though there’s nothing we can do to make a profound difference in the world, the simple act of donating blood could mean that someone has the chance to get their life back.
With one in three people needing blood or blood products during their lifetime, Lifeblood Melbourne Donor Centre has been facilitating donations for seven years at its CBD location on Collins St.
Following an eligibility check, a variety of donations can be made at the centre including blood, plasma and platelet, with the CBD space being one of the few permanent Lifeblood centres that accepts plasma and platelets.
“It’s quite an easy sort of process, they make it really comfortable and easy for you when you come into a donor centre,” Lifeblood media manager, Emily Granland said.
While blood donations can only be made once every 12 weeks, plasma donors can return every two weeks as the red blood cells are returned to your body once the plasma is taken, requiring less time in between donations for the cells to replenish.
“A lot of people that donate plasma are regulars in here and sort of feel like the staff are a second family which is really nice, and the feeling you get from donating is pretty cool as well,” Ms Granland said.
One of those regulars is Elizabeth, who celebrated her 75th donation at the Melbourne centre in October.
Initially inspired by her mother who regularly donated throughout her life, Elizabeth hopes to carry on her family’s tradition.
“There’s plenty of things I can’t do at my age, but what I can do is give blood and do something to help,” Elizabeth told CBD News.
CBD worker, Kenny, is also a regular donor, hoping to “help people in need” with his donation.
I don’t know anyone who needs blood, but I donate because I might need blood in the future – it’s just a good thing to do.
The centre itself is lively and comforting, unlike what many people may associate a medical practice with.
Selflessness and gratitude flows in all directions throughout the centre; from the donors to the staff, and most importantly, to the patients receiving the donations.
“The need for blood just doesn’t stop; it goes to people that are having surgery or in trauma, to pregnant mothers, to people with cancer or people with blood disorders,” Ms Granland said.
“It can’t be made synthetically, so we’re relying on the goodwill of people to donate and we’re always encouraging and welcoming people into the centre.”
Thirty-three-thousand blood and plasma donations are required across Australia every week, yet only 3.7 per cent of the population are active donors.
“We’re so grateful for all the amazing donors that we do have because it really does make a difference to lives, and not only the lives of individuals, but their families as well.”
O negative and O positive blood is currently in demand, with Lifeblood urging people to check for available time slots online and book an appointment to donate. •
For more information: lifeblood.com.au