Last year half a million Australians rolled up their sleeves to give blood over 1.3 million times.
That act provides vital support to our health system, which depends on blood and blood products, and on those willing to give part of themselves to help a stranger.
In hospitals across the country, blood gives life in many ways.
Cancer and blood diseases account for more than a third of the blood used, with surgeries, obstetrics and anaemia taking up much of the rest.
Plasma, the yellow liquid portion of blood, is used to make multiple medical treatments to treat shock, burns, immune deficiencies, fight infections, prevent blood clots and stop critical bleeding.
Trauma patients, those more typically associated with receiving a blood transfusion, make up just 2% of those who receive blood or blood products.
Australians need more than blood to keep them going and the nation’s blood service now goes beyond providing one of the world’s safest and most secure blood supplies. Our new identity “Australian Red Cross Lifeblood” reflects that.
We also provide safe, pasteurised donor breastmilk to premature babies at their most vulnerable. We provide critical organ matching and tissue typing services and our scientists carry out world renowned research.
In the wake of our 90th anniversary, it was time for a change which reflected our increased scope and we are now known as Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.
To highlight why we needed to make the change we’ve opened our doors for an eight-part television series.
The Carousel would like to thank Dr Alison Gould of Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.