In many situations, from traffic accidents to major surgery, peoples lives depend on transfusions of blood.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service relies on members of the public to donate blood regularly to keep up stocks. In winter, the service often experiences a drop-off in donor numbers, but the demand for blood remains just as high all year round.
Around 25,000 blood donations are needed every single week in Australia to meet the demand. Every blood donation can save up to three lives. One in three Australians will require blood in their lifetime, but only one in 30 is a blood donor.
As part of the ongoing campaign to encourage people to donate blood, every year Red Cross holds the Emergency Blood Challenge, as part of a campaign to save 10,000 lives. Essential services personnel such as police, paramedics, firefighters and SES volunteers compete to see which agency can make the most blood donations and save the most lives.
Last year, Victoria’s emergency services personnel made 3,102 donations, saving 9,306 lives, with Victoria Police claiming the top prize. This year's campaign was launched by Minister for Health Jill Hennessy on 1 June.
Donating blood requires only about an hour of your time. It is safe and does not need time off work. Collection takes place every three months in rotating locations all around Victoria.
To donate blood, call the Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95, or visit donateblood.com.au.