Local content 21 Sep 2018

Become a saviour - be a donor

​​One in three of us will need a blood transfusion at one stage in our lives - – but only one in 30 donates blood.

So the stark truth of the statistics is that either we'll need blood or somebody dear to us will require the generosity of strangers who donate blood.

That's why Woodside has become a staunch supporter in WA of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Woodside is a member of the RED25 program – a group donation program for organisations which aims to supply 25% of Australia's blood supplies.

Graduate civil engineer Toby Gorman is one Woodsider doing his bit.

Toby decided to donate blood after learning at the start of this year of the "alarming" disparity between the numbers who donated blood and those who needed blood donations.

Since then he's donated twice and says of his experience at the new Perth CBD blood donor centre in William Street:  "If the satisfaction of saving three lives doesn't win over potential first-time donors, the fact that you are treated like royalty while you're down there should!"

Graduate subsea engineer Renae Rundle is one of a team of 10 who coordinate donations for company personnel during work hours (subject to line manager approval).

Renae says on average five Woodsiders donate blood every week, but there is room for more.

"I just think it's one of those easy things you can do to help people," she says.

Donating blood takes about one and a half hours in total. That includes the walk to and from the centre, a mini health check and a compulsory rest of about 15 minutes and food after the procedure.

Natalie Brown, management assistant for corporate affairs, is another coordinator.

Natalie is unable to donate blood because she lived in the UK for more than six months between 1980 and 1996. Such people are deemed ineligible because of the very slight risk they were exposed ​to vCJD – the human form of what is commonly called "mad cow disease".

"Though I'm not able to donate blood, being part of the team that coordinates regular donations for the whole of Woodside allows me to contribute to the cause and save lives by organising these group blood donations," Natalie explains.

Some 25,000 donations are needed every week to ensure hospitals have enough blood for their patients.

"So even 25% of this total is a big ask, but with the help of companies like Woodside the Blood Service is confident it can be achieved," says the Australian Red Cross Blood Service's Mark Bradstreet.

He urges donors to do everything they can to honour their appointments as last-minute cancellations can have a serious impact on the supply of blood products to patients.

People can donate whole blood every three months, plasma every two weeks.

Those wishing to help the Blood Service's cause can sign up to sessions on the Briefing Register for the Perth CBD Donor Centre.

Those who want to donate blood in their own time or at their local donor centre should call 131 495 to make an appointment, or visit www.donateblood.com.au.