The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is this week uniting with blood donor organisations across 21 countries to highlight an almost 30% international drop in people becoming blood donors compared to a decade ago.
In a survey for the Missing Type campaign, participating blood services reported the number of people becoming donors and giving blood for the first time was 1,830,003 in 2005 and 1,324,980 in 2015 – a drop of 27.6% in 2015 compared to 2005.
The campaign brings together 25 blood services from 21 countries covering one billion of the world’s population who are each calling for new donors to ensure blood donation for future generations.
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In Australia there is a particular need for 100,000 new donors this financial year to help service the growing need for plasma-based medicines that thousands of Australian patients depend on for quality of life.
Key barriers to people coming forward to donate that were identified by blood services around the world include:
• increasing urbanisation,
• wider and more exotic travel,
• people have less time to give in an increasingly busy and digital world,
• lack of awareness about the need for more diverse blood donors,
• a rise in the popularity of tattoos.
Blood Service Chief Executive Shelly Park said blood transfusions saved lives and transformed health for millions across the world. “But they are dependent on people donating blood,” she said, “whether it is patients receiving treatment for cancer, blood disorders, after accidents or during surgery, or new mums who lost blood in childbirth, blood is an absolutely essential part of modern healthcare.”
“We really hope that those Australians who can will be inspired by the Missing Type campaign to become blood donors.”
As part of the Missing Type campaign the letters of the main blood groups – A, B and O – will disappear from everyday and iconic brands such as Qantas, NAB, Coles, the Sydney Opera House, Byron Bay Cookie Co, Australia Post, and Surf Life Saving NSW. Support the campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtag #MissingType.
To sign up as a new donor, visit: www.donateblood.com.au.