NSW Police roll-up their sleeves for third annual ‘Bleed4Blue’ blood drive

Members of the NSW Police Force, friends and family are rolling up their sleeves to donate blood as part of the third annual ‘Bleed4Blue’ blood drive.

Bleed4Blue 2020, a three-month law enforcement-focused blood drive, was officially launched by NSW Police Force Commissioner Michael Fuller APM and Det Sgt Breda at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Town Hall Donor Centre, earlier today (Tuesday 1 December 2020).

The campaign is run throughout the summer months in partnership with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and was established following the stabbing of Detective Sergeant John Breda on Australia Day 2018.

Det Sgt John Breda lost almost 12 litres of blood as the medical team worked to save his life after he was stabbed during a police operation at Maroubra.

It took more than 100 bags of blood to keep him alive, including 48 bags in one six-hour surgery.

Commissioner Fuller said John’s fight for life emphasised – particularly within the NSW Police Force – the importance of regularly donating blood.

“It is the nature of our work that we frequently attend situations where people need blood, but that day really brought it home to our police family just how vital blood supply is,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“One of our own survived due to the generosity of those who donated, and Bleed4Blue is our chance to show our appreciation and ensure blood supplies are there for someone else’s loved one.

“During last year’s campaign, we – along with our law-enforcement colleagues from across Australia – donated some 4600 litres of blood, which helped save 12,000 lives.

“We hope that with help of the community even more people will benefit from this year’s Bleed4Blue, so if you are in a position to give blood or plasma, please donate too,” Commissioner Fuller said.

Since its inception, the Bleed4Blue campaign has generated more than 8600 blood donations and helped save at least 25,000 lives.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood’s Steven Eldridge said while the organisation was thrilled with the response to Lifeblood’s recent appeal, the need for blood is ongoing.

“Historically, we see a drop in the number of people donating over long weekends or public holidays, and donations are needed every day this December,” Mr Eldridge said.

“Bleed 4 Blue is one of the nation’s largest blood drives, and we are fortunate to have the support of NSW Police to help boost blood supplies.

“The patients this challenge supports includes people undergoing treatment for cancer, newborns, those undergoing emergency surgery, those involved in road accidents and so many more.”

The ‘Bleed4Blue’ campaign runs from today until the end of February 2021 and will again challenge police from across Australia to take part to see which state or territory can donate the most blood.

The NSW Police Force is the defending champion, donating almost 1100 bags of blood during last year’s challenge.

For more information on donating visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/bleed-4-blue.

AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICE INFORMATION

• Blood is commonly used: a blood donation is needed every 24 seconds in Australia, and one in three of us will need donated blood as some point in our lives

• The Blood Service is looking for 2000 new donors in NSW, and 7000 nationally

• O-Negative is always in high demand – it is the universal type given to patients in emergency situations.

• As is plasma, a type of blood donation needed by thousands of Australians battling trauma, chronic illness, burns and infectious diseases.

• With one in three of us needing donated blood in our lifetime, the life you help save could even be that of a loved one or colleague

Blood donation basics

• One in three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime

• One blood donation can save up to three lives

• 9 million Australians are eligible to give blood but only 500,000 actively do so

• Australia needs almost 31,000 donations every week to meet demand

• Giving blood takes only one hour of your time and it can save up to three lives

• There is no substitute for blood, and we need blood of every type, every day to save the lives of thousands of Australians

• The Blood Service needs to collect more than 1.3 million donations every year to meet patient demand

• If you are aged between 16-70 years and are feeling well you may be eligible to donate blood

• Please call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au to make an appointment

Blood is surprisingly versatile and the blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments. Donated blood is used for:

• 34% goes to people with cancer and blood diseases

• 19% other causes of anaemia

• 18% goes to surgical patients, including open heart and burns

• 13% other medical problems, including heart stomach and kidney disease

• 10% orthopaedic patients, including fractures and joint replacements

• 4% goes to pregnant women, new mothers and young children

• 2% goes to trauma patients, including road accidents

DID YOU KNOW?

• Donated blood has a shelf-life of five-days, making it a serious challenge to meet medical demand for accidents and other trauma during the Christmas and New Year holiday period

• You can help relieve the pressure – and save someone in need – by donating anytime, but especially during the upcoming holiday period

• Donor centres are open every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

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