By day I am a health professional. By night I am a writer. I love the opportunity that writing provides to be creative and share my knowledge and experiences.
Published December 2nd 2011
Donating blood may not seem the most exciting way to spend your weekend, but for an hour of your time you can get the ultimate reward – saving another person's life.
The Australian Red Cross always welcomes new donors but at the moment blood stores are at an all time low with less than 3 days' supply of blood available. It is scary to think that 1 in 3 people will need a blood donation in their lifetime while only 1 in 30 people will ever donate. Donations help save the lives of a large range of people, from babies with blood disorders to people who have had injuries and to women who have lost large amounts of blood during child birth.
Donating blood is something that you can do on your own, with a friend or with your family. If you have never donated blood before you will be surprised at how simple, quick and easy the whole process is. You need to start by registering as a blood donor and making an appointment for your first donation. All of the information you need is on the Australian Red Cross website or you can speak to one of their helpful staff members by calling 13 14 95. You will have to answer a few simple questions to see if it is safe for you to donate. If you are eligible to donate blood you can make an appointment for any one of the donor centres across Australia; most are open for donations from Monday to Saturday.
It can be scary doing anything for the first time. However, there is really nothing to be scared of when donating blood. When you arrive for your appointment you will fill in a questionnaire and have a brief interview with one of the nurses. The blood donation itself takes about 5 to 10 minutes, then you will be offered a drink and a snack to re-energise.
I suggest that you organise your blood donation to fit in with visiting a nice restaurant for lunch or going to see a movie. Depending on how you feel, if you choose a donor centre such as The Shire Donor Centre at Miranda you can even visit Cronulla beach afterwards, a visit to the Sydney – Town Hall Centre can be followed by high tea in the Queen Victoria Building or you can follow a visit to Parramatta Donor Centre with a shopping spree to one of the biggest Westfields' complexes in NSW.
With Australian Red Cross donor centres right across Australia you will be sure to find one that fits in well with another fun activity. Of course if time is at a premium you can always just book in to your local branch. What is important is that as well as experiencing something new you will be making a real difference to the health and lives of other Australians. I can't think of a more rewarding way to spend a few hours on the weekend.