A noticeable drop in blood donations since New Zealand kicked-off its largest-ever international sporting event has highlighted the need to remind rugby fans not to delay their usual blood donation until after the final game.
Last week – the first full week of games and celebrations – nationwide blood donations were down by around 100 or 3% less than normal.
“Regular donations are critical because blood has a shelf life. Red blood cells only last 35 days and platelets last just 5 days,” says Paul Hayes, the NZ Blood Service’s National Marketing and Communications Manager.
“This modest decline is not unusual, but given the longer period over which it could occur, we are asking people to ensure blood donation remains a priority in their calendars.
“We are encouraging regular and first-time donors to make an appointment to donate blood sometime in the next month. Appointments help the Service with planning and provide a handy reminder for donors who might be a bit preoccupied with the festivities.”
The New Zealand Blood Service needs to collect around 3,000 units of blood each week to meet demand, so will need nearly the entire capacity of North Harbour Stadium to donate blood between now and the end of October.
Rugby fans visiting from overseas may not be able to donate blood in New Zealand due to eligibility criteria. “This is all the more reason to remind New Zealanders not to drop the ball over the next few weeks.”
Visit www.nzblood.co.nz or phone 0800 GIVE BLOOD to find out more about blood donation, register to become a blood donor or to make an appointment to donate.