Roll Up Your Sleeves and Save a Life this National Blood Donor Week

Despite 76% of Australians knowing someone with cancer, close to the same number of people are unaware that cancer treatment uses the most donated blood products.

Listen: Kathryn Huntley, General Manager People Living with Blood Cancer, Leukaemia Foundation spoke on Mornings with Fee about the important of blood donation and supporting people living with cancer. 

By Fiona CameronTuesday 14 Jun 2022Mornings with FeeHealth and WellbeingReading Time: 2 minutes

14 June is World Blood Donor Day, the Leukaemia Foundation is urging Australians to donate blood to help Aussies living with blood cancer.

Despite three quarters (76 per cent) of Australians knowing someone with cancer, close to the same number of people (77 per cent) are unaware that cancer treatment uses the most donated blood products. Kathryn Huntley, General Manager People Living with Blood Cancer, Leukaemia Foundation spoke on Mornings with Fee about the important of blood donation and supporting people living with cancer.

With more than 110,000 Australians currently living with blood cancer, and 275,000 expected to be living with this cancer by 2035, reality is we could need more than double the number of blood donations to treat these people in coming years.

1 blood donation is needed every 18 seconds in Australia & a new blood donor is needed every 4 minutes

It’s a common misconception that road trauma is the leading cause of a person needing donated blood. In reality 34%, or more than a third, of red blood cell donations nationally are used to help treat people with cancer and blood diseases. Many people with blood cancer require regular donated blood products to manage their cancer, either as part of their treatment plan or to counter side effects caused by the cancer or treatment itself.

It takes 18 Australians to donate blood monthly to treat just one person diagnosed with a blood cancer or blood disorder.

On average, one acute leukaemia patient in treatment needs nine units (2.25 litres) of red cells every month, or 36 units (just over one litre) of platelets each month – and they could need both of these products for the duration of their diagnosis, which can last anywhere from eight months on average through to years.

To keep up with demand, Australia needs around 33,000 donations every week, or more than 1.6 million donations per year.

1 in 3 Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime, only 1 in 30 donates.

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Find your nearest Lifeblood donation center lifeblood.com.au

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