New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) has added a second mobile blood drive team to service more communities in the Auckland and Northland regions.
It comes as the demand for blood has been increasing by four percent every year and is forecast to keep growing.
The second mobile blood drive team, which will be based out of NZBS’ Epsom Donor Centre, will make visiting more locations possible within the region and provide donors with more opportunities to donate blood.
“One donation can save up to three lives. As the demand for blood and blood products continues to increase, so too does the need to recruit new donors to join our amazing whānau of lifesavers,” says Scott Sinclair, Team Leader Donor Relations Northern.
“A third of the blood we collect each year in New Zealand comes from donors in Auckland and Northland. The addition of a second mobile blood drive team to service these regions ticks a lot of boxes in terms of growing the donor panel. And it provides access to a larger population base within these areas.”
New communities that NZBS will be visiting include Freeman’s Bay, Sunnynook, Blockhouse Bay and Titirangi in Auckland, and Ruakākā, Maungaturoto, Wellsford, Glenbervie and Waipu in Northland.
Mount Roskill, Mount Smart, Butterfly Creek and Torbay are communities that the second mobile drive will resume visiting.
“The addition of this second mobile blood drive allows us to visit new locations and return to places we haven’t visited in quite some time which is really exciting. We look forward to reconnecting with these communities and encourage people to roll up their sleeves and donate.”
NZBS regularly reviews the locations where it holds mobile blood drives, choosing destinations based on logistical, resource and population factors, including current donor numbers and potential future growth in the areas.
Another key consideration is transporting the blood donated at a mobile drive to one of NZBS’ laboratories for processing. Donated blood needs to be processed within 12 hours of the first needle being removed.
“More than 50 percent of the blood donations we collect come via mobile blood drives, so our mobile blood drives are really important,” says Brett Paradine, Director Donor Services.
“And while we want to ensure as many eligible people as possible across New Zealand have the chance to donate blood, as a not-for-profit Crown entity, we also have to make decisions on blood drive locations that will make the greatest contribution towards meeting our growing collection targets.”
The second Auckland mobile blood drive will operate five days per week, and aim to collect 200 blood donations every week (40 donations per day).
New donors are encouraged to find out if they are eligible at nzblood.co.nz and book an appointment to donate.
Those who have previously been told they could not give blood due to their age or a medical condition are also asked to check the updated NZBS donor eligibility criteria.
To book an appointment to donate, visit nzblood.co.nz, download the New Zealand Blood Service Donor App or call 0800 448 325.
Did you know?
- Less than four percent of the eligible population in New Zealand currently donates.
- NZBS needs to collect more than 5000 donations nationally each week to keep pace with current demand.
- Blood only lasts 35 days.
- All blood types are greatly needed, although there is more demand for A and O blood groups given 80 percent of the population has these blood types.
- A blood donation is separated into red blood cells, plasma and platelets after it has been processed, meaning up to three patients can benefit from just one donation.