Over 15,300 Kiwis Donated Blood During April

NEWS RELEASE

It is business as usual under lockdown restrictions for the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) as it continues to operate under the same conditions as Level 4 under Level 3.

“As the country prepared to go into Level 4 lockdown in March, we had to be ready for a potential drop in blood donation levels. Thankfully our concerns were proven unfounded,’ says Asuka Burge, New Zealand Blood Service National Marketing and Communications Manager. “During April we collected 15,300 donations, which ensured we were able to continue to meet demand despite the country going through an unprecedented situation.”

“Nearly 13% of those who donated last month were donors who had never donated before or had not donated in the previous two years. Thank you to all those donors, new and returning who donated during April, you are lifesavers.”

“As we all adjust to Level 3, it is vital that current and first-time donors continue to book appointments, to ensure we can continue to meet demand and help save lives. As elective surgeries resume, we expect demand for blood to rise once more so we are encouraging people to book to donate in late May and June where appointments are available.”

  • Blood stock levels currently remain at a healthy level.
  • NZBS needs to collect over 3,500 donations every week to be able to meet demand and be ready for when activity levels return to normal.
  • PPE face masks are mandatory for all donor floor staff who are in direct contact with donors.
  • Donor centres and mobile drives continue to be safe places to visit, with measures introduced in Level 4, continuing through Level 3.
  • It is essential to book an appointment. Regrettably, donors without appointments will be turned away. Appointments help manage the flow and social distancing of people in donor centres at any given time, and allows NZBS to forecast supply, ensuring it is collecting sufficient quantities of blood types and blood products.
  • Donors are asked to use the NZBS app or call 0800 448 325 to find suitable available appointments and to book in May and June.
  • NZBS is asking donors to let it know if they are unable to make an appointment – this allows the Service to rebook the appointment. All appointments are vitally important to maintaining the country’s blood stock levels.
  • Plasma donors can donate every two weeks (appointments permitting). Those considering becoming a plasma donor should ask about it when they next donate whole blood https://www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/plasma/
  • Travel to a nearby donor centre or mobile blood drive is considered essential travel
  • NZBS is asking donors to stay regional and NOT to travel long distances to get to a donor centres or mobile drive
  • NZBS is advising donors over 70 years to follow Ministry of Health guidelines and stay safe at home.

 For more information on donating blood during the COVID-19 lockdown, visit https://www.nzblood.co.nz/give-blood/covid-19-updates/. Or to book an appointment to donate visit www.nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325.

-ends-

NZBS will continue to send out regular updates on blood stock levels during the New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and lockdown periods.  Please note this information is correct as of 01/05/20.

About NZBS:

New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) is a not-for-profit Crown entity responsible for the collection, processing, testing and storage and distribution of all blood and blood products in New Zealand. 

NZBS relies on voluntary and non-remunerated blood donations from individuals around the country in order to provide a constant supply of precious blood and blood products used by health services to save thousands of lives.

For more information please contact:

Asuka Burge, New Zealand Blood Service, 09 523 6486, 0272 726 437  
Asuka.burge@nzblood.co.nz

Sandy Trigg, Network Communication, (09) 306 5811, 021 231 9406
Sandy.trigg@networkcommunication.co.nz

 Released on behalf of New Zealand Blood Service by Network Communication

 

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