Milestone honoured

Blood donor Arthur Faulks was recognised |recently for reaching 150 donations.
Blood donor Arthur Faulks was recognised |recently for reaching 150 donations.

Mr Faulks reached the 150-donation milestone earlier this year, but after a knee replacement in April, he must wait six months before being able to donate again.

He first donated blood in Turkey in 1964 when the Red Cross, looking for volunteers, boarded the Royal Navy ship he was on, HMS Centaur.

‘I didn’t know how old you had to be, but I was happy to help,’ Mr Faulks, who was 17 at the time, said.

He then went on to donate every 10 weeks at the Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital in Katoomba, where he remembers being given a caramel milkshake after every appointment.

He now visits Joondalup Blood Donor Centre every fortnight to donate plasma.

‘It’s giving somebody else something for free and saving lives,’ Mr Faulks said.

‘Provided I’m in good health, I can’t see why I wouldn’t continue donating. I’m not sure if there’s an age limit.’

A celebration for milestone blood, bone marrow and anti-D (plasma for pregnant women) donors is held annually to recognise their contributions. 

Call for blood donors a flu season takes toll

With another 60 appointments per week being made available at the Joondalup and Whitford blood donor centres, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service needs more than 400 extra people to donate in the next four weeks.

The call comes as the service continues to battle a debilitating winter flu season.

Nationally, blood supplies are running low across all major blood groups, but stocks of O-negative are down to less than two days supply, and O-positive less than three days.

O-negative is the universal blood type that can be given to anyone in an emergency, and O-positive is the most common blood type in the country.

‘The problem is that up to 1000 donors a week are cancelling their donations due to cold and flu symptoms, and to make matters worse, we’ve had a recent spike in demand for blood,’ spokesman Shaun Inguanzo said.