The 2021 Defence Blood Challenge has officially launched in Canberra, and will run until 8 December 2021. The event encourages Defence members and their families, across Australia, to give blood or plasma and register their donation against their service tally.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said this year, Defence personnel would aim to give blood or plasma more than 10,500 times. “One blood donation can save three lives and one plasma donation can be used to create 18 different life-saving treatments, helping people with serious burns, cancer or brain disease. The demand for blood and plasma continues to grow, so there’s always more we can do. In 2020, more than 9,500 donations were made throughout the challenge. This year, we aim to roll up our sleeves 10,500 times to help those who rely on blood products to stay alive, or see them through a serious illness,” Hupfeld said.
Sally Gavin from the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood said the Blood Challenge is not only a fun way to encourage blood and plasma donations, but is extremely beneficial for the Australian community. “Blood donation is an essential service and can still occur during COVID-19 lockdowns. Red Cross Lifeblood donor vans will work at a reduced capacity to ensure social distancing requirements are met,” Gavin said. “We are very grateful to the Department of Defence for their annual support.”
To register an appointment at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and start your donation journey today, remember to make your donation count towards your chosen Service to add to their tally. Lifeblood Donor Centres adhere to strict COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols. Processes are in place to protect donors and staff. It is safe to give blood during this time.