Urgent call for blood donors at Christmas

Blood donor Martin Bakker. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d411761
Blood donor Martin Bakker. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d411761

Mr Bakker has given more than 380 blood donations, which puts him in the top 50 of WA’s highest blood donors.

He said he started donating blood in 1975 because a work colleague, whose mother was a casual nurse, was donating, so he went along with him.

Mr Bakker then needed blood in 1976 after a motorcycle accident.

‘It was good to see what we were doing at the time was useful,’ he said.

He said he now mainly donated plasma, which means he can donate every two weeks.

‘It’s a useful contribution to make to the community and it’s not too hard an effort,’ he said.

‘It doesn’t take too much time ” only about an hour and a half every two weeks.’

Joondalup and Whitford blood donor centres need more than 650 donors to give blood this Christmas and New Year to secure bloodstocks for cancer patients over the festive season.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is concerned northern suburbs residents will take an extended holiday during this time, leading to a major drop-off in platelets that only have a shelf life of five days and which are critical in the treatment of cancer patients.

To prevent the drop-off, the service is running a blitz to boost donations between December 23 and January 3.

With two public holidays and a weekend, it is vital that donors make an appointment to give blood at either Whitford or Joondalup donor centres before Christmas Eve and the days immediately after Boxing Day to help replenish platelet stocks.

Both donor centres will open for platelet-only donations on Boxing Day to help replenish platelet supplies.

Visit www.donateblood. com.au or call 13 14 95.