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University rolls up sleeves to save lives

Published 21 Feb 2020
UTAS representatives and Billy the Blood Drop

The University of Tasmania was this morning recognised for bigheartedly rolling up its sleeves to save thousands of lives through blood donation.

The University of Tasmania is the highest donating Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Team in Tasmania, having saved over 4,500 lives in 2019. Made up of staff and students, it is also the highest donating team in the Tasmanian education sector, with 1,572 donations in 2019.

Tasmania University Union President Braydon Broad acknowledged the importance of donating and the many student donors.

“Thousands of lives are saved from a small commitment to donating so we work with Lifeblood to make it easy for students to sign up at campus events.

“Last year hundreds of students generously donated blood and this year we will donate even more – 36 more have signed up in Sandy Bay alone during Orientation Week,” he said.  

Students and staff at Launceston and Cradle Coast campuses will have the opportunity to sign up during Market Week next week.

“The number of lives saved through the Lifeblood Teams program continues to grow each year and we thank them on behalf of our recipients,” Lifeblood Group Account Manager for Tasmania Ann Harvey said.

In Australia, one in three people will need blood products in their lifetime but only one in thirty donate.

“It’s hugely rewarding, and Lifeblood have been incredibly helpful. We would encourage any organisation to get in touch with them to see how they can help,” Braydon said.

Last year the Australian Red Cross Blood Service became Australian Red Cross Lifeblood to reflect the range of life-giving biological products that it facilitates.

Lifeblood not only facilitates blood and plasma donation but also organ matching, tissue typing, operating a breastmilk service in three states and it is even trialling a faecal microbiome transplant service.

To make an appointment to donate, go to donateblood.com.au/states/tas, download the Blood Donor app or call 131495.

Pictured: Ann Kile (Manager, Office of the Chief Operating Officer, University of Tasmania), Billy The Blood Drop, and Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) PhD candidates Lisa Craw and Darryn Sward.