One single blood donation can save up to three lives and can help a wide range of people in the community; cancer patients, patients undergoing surgery, victims of traumatic injuries and accidents and premature babies and their mothers.
Blood donation in Australia is safe and fit and healthy Australians, aged between 16 and 70 years, are able to donate whole blood every 12 weeks (plasma and platelet donors can donate as often as every 2-3 weeks). There are are a few restrictions which may prevent someone from donating blood (for example, if you are HIV positive or have hepatitis B or you have or have had hepatitis C) but generally most individuals are able to give blood.* To find out if you are currently eligible to donate blood, simply answer a few questions on the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website.
If you are eligible to donate blood, make an appointment via the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website or call 13 14 95. There are 8 Australian Red Cross Blood Service centres in Greater Perth - some of which are open 7 days a week. Visit the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website to find your nearest location.
Prior to your appointment, you should have eaten a substantial meal and it is also important to have consumed plenty of water.
You will fill in a questionnaire upon your arrival about your general health (if you have had a cold or flu in the past week, you may not be able to donate). A sample of the questionnaire, can be viewed here.
You will then be interviewed by a trained staff member to assess your suitability. Here you will given a 'finger prick' test to check your haemoglobin level and your blood pressure will also be measured.
Then you will donate blood - which will take only 5 to 10 minutes - however the whole process - the questionnaire, interview, blood donation and refreshments take around 1 hour (donating plasma or platelets takes around 45 minutes, whilst the appointment can last up to 90 minutes).
Throughout the whole process, trained staff members will make sure you are comfortable - if for any reason you are nervous or unsure, feel free to let them know your concerns.
After your donation, you will receive refreshments.
The whole process is completely safe, as all equipment is sterile and needles are only used once and then discarded.