Don’t be rude - return your Blood Dude
‘‘I’ve always wanted to give blood,’’ Lani Bishop smiles shyly, ‘‘and to find that you can save someone’s life by taking half an hour out of your day is really neat.’’
The 24 year-old, who works in customer service for the Palmerston North City Council will be one, she hopes, of many who respond to the New Zealand Blood Service’s seasonal call for donors. The coming extended holiday period always puts an added stress on the demand for blood products.
For people like Lani who work in the central city, giving blood will be made that much more accessible next Tuesday October 20 when the blood collection unit sets up shop in the Main St Convention Centre.
‘‘It’s been a few years since we visited the CBD for a blood drive,’’ the unit’s Sue Rule says. ‘‘but with increasing demand for plasma products, we feel the time is right to make a comeback. It’s an ever increasing challenge to recruit blood donors.’’
Plasma, Sue explains is the gold-coloured liquid part of blood that carries blood cells, water, proteins and clotting factors around the human body. Once extracted, it can be used to create up to 13 different products treating burn victims, chemo and kidney patients, as well as trauma and surgical cases.
‘‘It’s incredibly valuable. It saves lives and is why it is often referred to as liquid gold.’’
To help lure more people, first timers as well as lapsed donors, to the Convention Centre, Sue has arranged for 50 or so little red ‘Blood Dudes’ to be hidden in nooks and crannies around The Square. Shaped like a drop of blood, the small cheery soft toy’s tag invites finders to turn up to the central city collection centre between 10am and 4pm.
‘‘We’re hoping that those who find them will be inspired to bring them in and donate.’’
If Tuesday’s not appropriate, there’s always the opportunity to make an appointment by phone 0800 448 354 or online nzblood.co.nz.
Would-be donors should bring along some sort of identification, and should be between 16 and 66, over 50kgs, and in good health.
‘‘It’s not about you; it’s not about me,’’ Sue says. ‘‘It’s about the people who need you and me. Lend us your arm and give blood.’’
‘‘It’s not about you; it’s not about me. It’s about the people who need you and me. Lend us your arm and give blood.’’ Sue Rule, New Zealand Blood Service’s blood collection unit
Gotcha! The PNCC’s Lani Bishop retrieves a ‘Blood Dude’ from a hiding place in The Square. The red soft ‘haemo-goblins’ will be secreted around The Square next Tuesday as part of a campaign to encourage more people to give blood at the Convention Centre.