A bloody lot of lives saved through Red25 donations

Friday 1 September, 2017

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) staff have contributed to saving 240 lives this year through their Australian Red Cross blood donations.

During 2017, GMW staff have made 80 donations, including a group donation at the Shepparton donation centre earlier this month.

GMW Recreation and Land Strategy Officer Jay Whittaker said GMW was registered as a ‘Red25’ organisation – a group donation program of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service aimed to fulfill 25 per cent of the total blood donations needed by Australia. 

“This means when staff donate it will be registered under the GMW group so we see collectively how many donations we’ve made and for a bit of healthy competition, how we’re tracking against other water authorities and organisations,” Mr Whittaker said.

This year, GMW has made the third highest amount of donations of the 19 Victorian water authorities registered as Red25 members. This follows Yarra Valley Water who have made 109 donations and Melbourne Water who have made 95 donations.

“It’s not a bad effort up against the Melbourne water authorities whose staff have access to a wider range of donation centres with more flexible opening hours,” Mr Whittaker said.

“But it’s not all about the competition, that’s just a bit of fun and a way to encourage more donations to save more lives.”

GMW Managing Director Pat Lennon said staff members are entitled to take up to a maximum of three hours of paid leave up to four times a year for the purposes of donating blood.

“We just want to make it as easy as possible for staff to get involved and to donate but in a lot of instances, staff are doing this in their own time, just to give back or for personal reasons because a loved one or friend has needed blood,” Mr Lennon said.

Blood donation quick facts:

  • One third of blood donations help treat people with cancer
  • Thanks to modern technology, blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments
  • There are about five litres of blood in the human body and it's made up of several useful components meaning you can donate whole blood, plasma or platelets. Each type of blood donation is used for different medical treatments, and your blood type determines the best donation for you to make.
  • You inherit your blood type from a mix of your parents’ genes. There are eight main blood types, organised through two combined systems. These systems are ABO (blood types A, B, AB or O) and Rhesus type or group (positive or negative).
  • O negative is the universal blood type and can be given to any patient.
  • AB is the rarest blood type. AB plasma can be given to any patient, regardless of their blood type so it is always in high demand.*

*Quick facts sourced from Australian Red Cross Blood Service website

To make an appointment to donate blood, phone 13 14 95 or request an appointment online: https://www.donateblood.com.au/make-appointment