Blood donors come and go
Every year the NZ Blood service loses about 25,000 donors for reasons such as sickness, travel or tattoos.
Many people who had offered to donate in the past had been declined for such reasons, a spokesman said, but chances were they’d be welcomed back.
“If a person was turned down for potential exposure to malaria while on holiday in Thailand, for instance, the stand-down period is four months, not a lifetime.”
Even those who were ineligible to give blood may be able to donate plasma (where the red blood cells and platelets were returned to the donor after the plasma had been extracted).
The service currently had 110,000 loyal donors on file, 3800 of them plasma-only donors, and needed another 55,000. Whole-blood could be donated every three months but plasma could be given fortnightly.
But while every donor would be welcomed with open arms, it was men aged between 35 and 55 who were most needed.
Men were usually bigger, so could donate more plasma in each session, chief executive Sam Cliffe said, while the National Child Cancer Network said their blood was also preferred for clinicallytransfused plasma products, specifically those used to assist clotting after major surgery or serious accidents, or for trauma patients during cardiac and transplant surgery.
The service is at Te Ahu today, 8.30am to 2.30pm.
Peter Niepel about to give blood, for the 26th time, at Te Ahu yesterday.