Summer Campaign Media Release

The need for blood donors doesn’t stop over the holidays, says New Zealand Blood Service

If someone saved your life this summer, you’d never forget it.

All too often, it takes a personal or national tragedy for us to be reminded of how crucial it is to have lifesaving blood and blood products on hand. This summer, New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is reminding New Zealanders that by just taking one hour out of your summer, you could enable a lifetime of more summers for someone else.

NZBS needs over 3,500 donations every week, but unfortunately accident, injury and illness doesn’t take time off for the holidays. The need for blood is constant; the #onehoursaveslives campaign is here to encourage all eligible donors to take an hour out of their holiday and donate lifesaving blood.

Every donation is important, and can help save up to three lives – as Brian Simmons well knows. The retired beef farmer and rest home proprietor had enjoyed a great day’s fishing on his boat. It was when he returned to Sandspit Wharf, north of Auckland, to drop people off when he slipped and fell over 3.5 metres, becoming impaled on a stanchion. His injuries were traumatic; by the time he arrived at hospital, he had lost 95 percent of his blood. Over the next 48 hours, Brian received over 300 units of blood and blood products.

“Without a doubt, I would have died that day if it wasn’t for over 300 strangers who took time out to donate their blood,” says Brian, who was in a coma for six weeks, and in hospital and rehab for six months. “The injury caused untold damage; there’s no way I’d be sitting outside with my grandchildren, dangling a line over the side and waiting for the ‘big bite’, if it weren’t for blood donors. They helped save my life, no question.”

This summer, many of us will celebrate and relax with our loved ones, enjoying moments that make memories; for some, this is only possible because of the generosity of those who continue to donate blood, ensuring a year-round supply. “New Zealand always needs blood donors, 365 days a year,” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications for New Zealand Blood Service. “With the #onehoursaveslives campaign, we are asking New Zealanders to help us ensure blood is there for anyone who might need it this summer.”

For more information or to find out how to donate, visit nzblood.co.nz/summer

About New Zealand Blood Service:

New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is a not-for-profit Crown entity and the sole organisation responsible for the collection, processing, testing and storage and distribution of all blood and blood products in New Zealand. As such, it has to carefully manage the country’s blood supply to avoid collecting too much blood, or not enough. Blood and blood products have a shelf-life, platelets must be transfused within 7 days of collection and the red cell component of blood only lasts 35 days.

NZBS relies on voluntary and non-remunerated blood donations from individuals around the country in order to provide a constant supply of precious blood and blood products used by health services to save thousands of lives.

  • Every 18 minutes in New Zealand, someone needs blood or blood products.
  • There is no alternative for patients in need of blood or blood products – blood donors save lives.
  • Every whole blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives.
  • The demand for plasma-derived products is increasing by over 12% year on year.

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