When did you last save a life?
When was the last time you donated blood - put your feet up, chatted to a friendly blood service nurse and lent an arm? It can be a huge juggling act to fit everything into your calendar and New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) understands how busy life can get.
However if it’s more than two years since you last filled a blood bag, you may have noticed that the Blood Service hasn’t been in touch with you recently.
This could be because your blood type has not been in need. In particular AB and B are rare types that are not needed as much so they are not called on as often as the more common O and A donors. Also if you haven’t donated in the last two years, you are no longer considered an “active” blood donor.
Emails and phone calls are made to donors who are no longer active when required, but sometimes contact details are out of date, meaning NZBS may not be able to contact you. In addition, after such a long time since your last donation, you may not be in a position to donate blood or want to be a blood donor so the number of times NZBS tries to contact you is reduced.
Every year, NZBS loses 28,000 donors due to a wide variety of reasons; donors are no longer active, some no longer meet the eligibility criteria, others cannot due to ill health, some travel or move overseas and some become busy with work, sport or raising children.
However, if it has been over two years since you last donated the gift of life and you still meet the eligibility criteria, NZBS would love for you to consider becoming an active donor again – especially if your blood type is O or A! Perhaps you’ve just returned from your OE, your kids are now off to kindergarten, your company has become a Team Red, or you’ve retired (please check the age criteria) and find some spare time on your hands. Whatever your reasons, NZBS would love to have you back!
If you have blood type AB or B, and can donate at one of our 7 main donor centres, then we’d really love to see you again too as you might be able to help out by giving plasma (and AB and B blood is great for giving plasma!)
You don’t need to donate all the time – even just once a year makes a huge difference as each donation can save up to three lives, and it only takes 60 minutes out of your day. Just like riding a bicycle, it doesn’t matter how many years have gone by – you can still donate blood if you fit the eligibility criteria. By becoming an active blood donor again, it means that NZBS can update your details and contact you if we urgently need your blood type.