Over half a million lives saved in the last 20 years, thanks to our blood donors
For New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS), today marks a significant milestone, commemorating 20 years since it was created and appointed as the Crown Entity responsible for the national provision of all blood services and blood products.
The anniversary is certain to invoke an emotional reaction in many New Zealanders as well; since its inception in 1998, NZBS and its dedicated donors have saved or improved the lives of over half a million of us.
Sam Cliffe, Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Blood Service, says the creation of an integrated national blood service marks an important milestone in the New Zealand health sector, and over the years New Zealand Blood Service has become a self-sustaining, model agency that many international blood services seek to emulate.
“First and foremost, this milestone is a testament to our committed and selfless donors, who understand that there’s no alternative for patients in need of blood or blood products,” says Ms Cliffe.
“Every day in New Zealand, an average of 79 people require blood or blood products, and it’s thanks to our committed donors that we can ensure a healthy blood supply to anyone in need, anytime and anywhere in the country.”
Ms Cliffe asserts that since its creation, NZBS has imbued Kiwis with the peace of mind that there is a safe and secure supply of blood and blood products available to them should they ever need them.
“Since its formation, New Zealand Blood Service has strived for excellence in meeting the needs of donors, patients, staff members and the health of the wider community on a national scale,” she says.
Every whole blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives. Since 1998, more than 600,000 individual donors have each contributed to help save or improve Kiwi lives in need.
NZBS delivers a wide array of crucial blood-related, lifesaving services that are readily available to all Kiwis. These services include blood collection, processing of blood donations (whole blood, plasma and platelets) and accreditation testing of blood donations and blood banking, among other vital services.
It’s not just blood that NZBS provides, it is also responsible for the process of tissue typing for donor skin, bone and organ grafts, and the donation of hip bones which aid children with scoliosis in need of spinal surgeries, and children with cancer whose bone fractures will no longer heal on their own. NZBS also hosts the New Zealand Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
“NZBS is the lifeblood of New Zealand. Our donors and our team save lives – it’s that simple. It’s thanks to them that we’ve been able to do what we do for these past 20 years”, says Ms Cliffe. “We’ve come a long way, and we’re excited about what we can achieve in the next 20.”
To find out how you can become a blood donor, click here.