Thank you New Zealand - World Blood Donor Day 14th June
Last year 110,000 New Zealanders donated over 160,000 units of blood, helping save the lives of over 42,000 ordinary Kiwi’s. For many, this great act of giving quite simply made the difference between life and death.
To celebrate World Blood Donor Day, 14th June, New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is reaching out to say a great big THANK YOU! to its amazing blood donors. Their commitment ensures every single one of us has access to a safe and certain blood supply.
“Donating blood is selfless act which has the potential to save the life of a total stranger. On World Blood Donor Day, on behalf of New Zealand, we want to say ‘thank you blood donors’ and acknowledge how their generosity touches so many lives” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications for NZBS.
NZBS asked blood recipients from around the country tell their story of survival. Here are a couple of their stories:
Manawanui (Mana) Parata had been feeling unwell for some time prior to his visit to the doctor in late August 2012. He was diagnosed with the flu, but hours later he was rushed back to the hospital with a high fever, unexplained numbness and the inability to move.
Mana was diagnosed with the rare condition, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which affects the peripheral nervous system and is usually triggered by an infection. The disease attacks the immune system and soon after diagnosis, Mana was administered Intragram®P, a concentrated source of antibodies made from plasma donated by New Zealand donors. After the second treatment of Intragram®P, Mana’s condition began to improve, and by October, he was well enough to be transferred out of the intensive care unit to start his recuperation.
“It’s made me appreciate the important things in life – family, friends, work, and kapa haka. I count my lucky stars that someone I’ve never met took the time to donate their blood and saved my life."
Alisha’s journey with NZBS began at 16 years old during her schooling at Waitakere College, where she made her first blood donation. At the age of 27 and after the birth of her first child, Alisha suffered a life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage, which found her on the receiving end of a blood donation.
The morning after her son was born Alisha began fainting, and was administered three units of life-saving blood.
“I’m alive today because of my generous donors. I’ll never know who they are, but my family and I could never thank them enough.”
After years of being a whole blood donor, Alisha recently made the switch from whole blood to plasma donation to help meet growing demands for this life-saving blood component. As doctors find more ways to use plasma to save and improve lives, the need for plasma is increasing at a rate of over 13 per cent every year.
A new phone app for donors.
To mark this World Blood Donor Day, New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is launching a new app for iPhone and Android, putting the power to save lives in the palm of the users’ hand. It has never been easier to find a time and place to make a blood donation.
“Over 50% of blood donations are made through mobile blood drives across the country. Staying connected with all our donors, not just those that visit a donor centre is vitally important to NZBS. The app was developed in an intuitive way that will enable us to stay connected with all of our donors, creating regular touchpoints that we hope will act as a call to action to continue donating and encourage others to do so as well,” says Asuka Burge, New Zealand Blood Service National Manager Marketing and Communications.
As well as being able to book appointments, access maps of all the blood drives across the country and share across personal social media platforms, whole blood donors that download the app will also receive a special notification when their blood has been used to help save a fellow kiwi’s life.
“When developing the app it was very important for us to include features that would help ensure our donors continued to feel valued and to remind them what a wonderful gift they are giving. Donors could be at home, on the bus to work or just supermarket shopping and they will receive a ‘thank you’. We hope it goes some way to remind our donors what a wonderful difference they are making to someone else’s life,” continues Ms. Burge.
New Zealand Blood Service app key tools:
Through the locations view, donors will be able to view all donor centres and mobile blood drives in the country, plotted on a map. Once a location has been selected, the donor will be able to choose their preferred date and time before confirming the appointment. The app will also allow donors to book multiple future appointments, and receive reminders for their upcoming appointments. Donors can also receive helpful notifications to let them know when their local mobile blood drive has been confirmed in their area.
Digital Donor ID Card:
Instead of carrying a physical Donor ID Card, donors arriving at an appointment can simply present their Donor ID in the app.
Donors will be able to see their blood type, access their donation history and view their upcoming appointments via the app. Days until they are eligible to donate again will also be shown to provide a handy reminder when they can donate again.
Blood use notification:
Free app for download:
The NZ Blood Service Donor App will be available for free to download for iPhone on the App Store, and for Android devices on the Google Play store. The app is available for new and current whole blood donors, and current plasma donors. Platelet donors will still need to contact the donor centres to book their appointments
To find out more about the app click here.