South Taranaki Star

Be a hero: give blood

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New Zealand requires more than 4000 donations of blood each week, however fewer than 3 per cent of New Zealanders are blood donors.

Red cells last only 35 days so there is a high need for regular and new donors to ensure a safe and plentiful supply of blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed, says Sue Rix, Donor Relations Co-ordinator with the New Zealand Blood Service.

Blood donation can be used in treatments for those going through cancer, undergoing surgery, or who have been in a traumatic accident.

It can also be used to help those with auto-immune or bleeding disorders.

NZ Blood Service is the sole provider of blood and blood products to all public and private hospitals in New Zealand.

Eligibilit­y

■ First-time donors must be at least 16 years old and can donate up until their 71st birthday.

■ Donors must weigh over 50kg and meet height-weight requiremen­ts.

■ Donors with tattoos and piercings must wait three months from date of procedure before donating.

■ Donors must be fit and well, no coughs, colds, sore throats or flu symptoms, or stomach bugs.

■ Donors must bring suitable ID: Driver’s Licence, Passport or Donor card.

■ Donors are advised to drink plenty of water and have food prior to donating.

■ Donors can donate blood once every 84 days (three-monthly).

■ Take the Eligibilit­y Quiz at www.nzblood.co.nz for further detailed informatio­n.

New Zealand Blood Service is encouragin­g all donors who are fit and healthy to continue with their donations and is taking all the necessary steps to keep sites and venues as safe as possible, Sue Nix says.

Strict Health Department guidelines are being followed to protect all donors and staff. Face masks are mandatory.

‘‘Because of the high need for blood donors you will see NZ Blood Service in your region on a more regular basis,’’ she says.

‘‘The NZ Blood Service thanks all blood donors for their generosity and appreciate they can rely on everyday heroes to keep the flow of blood going.’’

Red cells last only 35 days so there is a high need for regular and new donors to ensure a safe and plentiful supply of blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed,

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