13 July 2021

Media Release: Frontline Health Care Workers Thank New Zealand’s Team of 110,000 Lifesavers

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Frontline Health Care Workers Thank New Zealand’s Team of 110,000 Lifesavers

World Blood Donor Day – Monday 14 June 

·       Blood donors are an essential part of the health care system – without their donations, frontline workers wouldn’t be able to do the work they do 

·       Less than 4% of the eligible population donate

·       Every 18 minutes, someone in New Zealand needs blood or plasma 

·       NZ Blood needs to collect over 4,000 donations each week to keep up with demand 

·       Donating blood is a quick and easy process that saves lives 

This World Blood Donor Day, frontline healthcare workers are joining New Zealand Blood Service (NZ Blood) in saying ‘thank you’ to the country’s incredible blood donors for helping them save lives. 

“We are thankful for our donor community 365 days of the year, they are our country’s unsung heroes,” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications for NZ Blood. “While our donors may not be doctors or nurses, their presence is felt in so many lifesaving situations.

“We have heard a lot of talk about New Zealand’s team of five million, this is an extra special team of 110,000 that every year saves or improves the lives of over 29,000 fellow Kiwis.

“Across the country, our doctors and nurses have absolute confidence that in an emergency situation, or if a patient’s treatment requires blood or blood products, it will always be there for them and that is only because of our amazing donors,” says Ms Burge.  

Every 18 minutes someone in New Zealand requires blood or plasma and to continue to keep up with demand, NZ Blood needs to grow the donor registry by 10% in the next 12-months. 

Those interested in becoming a blood donor should download the app, visit nzblood.co.nz or call 0800 448 325 (0800 GIVE BLOOD) and book an appointment to donate. 

Thanks from our frontline health workers

This year, the frontline workers of the health care system would like to say a special thanks to dedicated blood donors. 

Watch our World Blood Donor Day 'Thank you' Video

Emma Batistich, Pre-Hospital and Retrieval Medicine Doctor, Auckland Helicopter Trust

“We’re tasked to rescue critically unwell and injured patients 24/7. Blood donors are an integral part of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter team.  Having blood donations on board helps us to save lives.”

Dr Jian Li, Haematology Registrar

“I get to work closely with transfusion specialists, nurses and laboratory staffs to provide safe blood products for patients across the country. Blood donors might not be in the room with us, but their presence is felt, every day.” 

Dr Elizabeth Wilson, Emergency Medicine Registrar

“Emergency departments are always such a busy environment, and every day we see critically ill patients who need blood. Not only blood, they need plasma and they need platelets. I see first-hand what blood can do”


About New Zealand Blood Service:

New Zealand Blood Service in a not-for-profit Crown entity responsible for the collection, processing, testing and storage and distribution of all blood and blood products in New Zealand.  

We rely on voluntary and non-remunerated blood donations from individuals around the country in order to provide a constant supply of precious blood and blood products used by our health services to save thousands of lives.

World Blood Donor Day, celebrated in New Zealand and internationally on or around 14 June each year, is our most important annual campaign to remind New Zealanders of the importance of donating blood and to celebrate the contribution they make.

·       Much of today’s medical care depends on a steady supply of blood from volunteer donors. 

·       Approximately 190,000 units of blood (whole blood, plasma and platelets) are collected every year in New Zealand. 

·       Less than 4% of New Zealand’s adult population (eligible by age) currently donates blood. 

·       Just one whole blood donation can help save the lives of up to three people.  

·       One donation can be separated into several components (red blood cells, platelets and plasma) each of which are used to treat different types of patients, for example, accident and burns victims, patients undergoing surgery, adults and children suffering leukaemia, and transplant patients. 

·       29,000 patients are treated with blood or blood products in New Zealand each year.