Red25 blood challenge launched at Joondalup hospital

Angie Monk, Justine McFarlane and baby Kalea. Picture: Chris Kershaw
Angie Monk, Justine McFarlane and baby Kalea. Picture: Chris Kershaw

THE Australian Red Cross Blood Service launched its Red25 blood challenge in Joondalup yesterday.

Joondalup Health Campus and Ramsay Health Care hosted the WA launch of the Red25 Health Services Blood Challenge, a national competition between health service providers to donate the most blood, on April 8.

Since 2017, it has helped the Blood Service engage donors and driven an increase in overall donations during winter.

Former blood product recipient and Joondalup midwife Justine McFarlane is the face of the 2019 challenge after losing nearly 80 per cent of her blood during the birth of her fourth child in 2018.

“We will be forever grateful to the beautiful people who donated the blood that saved me and my baby,” she said.

“This challenge provides businesses with the opportunity to encourage their employees to donate blood and I’m so pleased to be supporting it and giving back to a service that helped save my life and my baby’s only a year ago.

“My experience made me really appreciate the importance of blood donation – if not for the kindness of Australians who have taken the time to donate, I might not be here today.”

Joondalup Health Campus staff are getting involved in the blood challenge. Picture: Chris Kershaw

Patient blood management consultant and former HESTA nurse of the year Angie Monk said the hospital used more than 60 units of blood products every week.

“Nearly 25 per cent of donated blood products are used by the Joondalup Health Campus emergency department each week and 14 per cent go to our cancer patients,” she said.

“The rest goes towards treating serious medical issues ranging from pregnancy complications to immune conditions and heart disease.”

Australian Red Cross Blood Service regional manager Brett King said one in three Australians would need blood or blood products in their lifetime, but only one in 30 donated.

“Those working in our health services know better than anyone that the need for blood is constant,” he said.

“One donation can save up to three lives so we’re encouraging anyone who can donate to do so.”

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