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Blood donation

2-minute read

Many people regularly need blood transfusions to help treat their medical conditions. Blood is also needed for emergencies and to treat cancer. In Australia, this blood supply relies on generous donations.

Why should I donate blood?

Australia relies on the generosity of donors who volunteer their time and blood.

Healthy adults are encouraged to donate blood to help save lives. This is in line with World Health Organization guidelines for ensuring a safe blood supply.

All types of people need blood donations, which means that all types of blood are needed.

Depending on your blood type, you may be able to donate various components of your blood or your whole blood.

Where to donate blood

You can donate blood to the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, which operates blood donor centres and mobile units all around Australia.

Blood donor requirements

Most healthy adults (aged 18-76) are able to give blood in Australia. If you want to donate blood, there are some things that might affect your eligibility to be a blood donor. These include which medications you take, your medical history, and your travel history.

The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has a list of frequently asked questions that will help you work out whether or not you can donate blood.

The screening process for all donated blood in Australia is strict to ensure the safety of patients who receive the blood.

The blood donation process

The day before you donate, you need to prepare by drinking plenty of fluids and eating something salty. The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood lists what you need to do before and after you donate blood.

When you are at the centre, trained staff will double-check that you are able to donate, and will go over the blood donation process with you in detail. They’ll make sure you feel comfortable and look after you during the process. They’ll also provide you with refreshments after you’ve donated.

Donating blood in Australia is extremely safe and most people feel fine afterwards. However, you might occasionally feel light-headed or dizzy. If you feel unwell afterwards, it’s important to tell staff at the time. Otherwise contact the Australian Red Cross on 13 14 95 for advice.

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Last reviewed: April 2020


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