Do You Donate Blood?

Did my 15th donation the other day and Thought I’d ask if anyone else in the OzB community give blood and if so, how many donations do far?

Mod Note: Visit Australian Red Cross Lifeblood for more information.


Hi All,

Truly inspired by how many OzBargainers give, or are willing to give blood.

I have created a lifeblood team for those who are interested. Always wanted to be part of a team but could never convince the office the participate (for various reasons).

If you login to your lifeblood account, simply search for the team called 'OzBargain'. Really hoping we can rally the troops on this and see how many donations we can achieve together!

Poll Options

  • 392
  • 395


      • Maybe or if a friend/family member needs it.

        • +1

          I guess you'll have less demand than most from the former.

  • +3

    I donate plasma every fortnight. It's about the only thing I look forward to through this lockdown.

    • I used to do this, and it made me feel really good. and I slept really well afterwards. unfortunately my veins kinda suck now and cant do plasma.

      I went for the free snacks as a poor uni student and i ate better that day than most.

  • +11

    Yes I donate plasma every fortnight. My 121st donation this weekend and as uppitt says, it's a bit sad that I'm really excited to be going on Saturday! :-)

  • +1

    Done my 14th few weeks ago. Thats plasma plus blood together. Well done for the noble cause.

  • +1

    I went about 2 weeks ago to donate blood, but there was someone else's blood on the armrest where my arm was resting so I probably won't be going back for a while…still a bit freaked out about it.

    • +1

      You could have.. you know.. told them about it and they would clean it?

      • Yes…I did tell them…and they did clean it

        • I wouldn't of told them, set up a camera and then scared everyone.

          And thats exactly how you start a prank youtube career.

          Really Marshmellow20 you got to start looking at turning blood into pranking opportunities, rather than lemonade…. or something.

  • +1

    No, because they didnt tell I had low iron and continued taking blood off of me. I was delirious the next day and nearly fainted on the bus.

    • +1

      Maybe they didn't know?

      • They did know - the finger prick test. They could have told me I was in low range

    • did you eat the cookie?

      I bet you didn't eat the cookie.

  • No, the one time I tried they had a hard time getting vein and dug around a lot. It made me wary of needles for years.

  • Yes and No.
    I went 2 times.

    My blood has Malaria antibodies which I guess are not acceptable and they always discard my blood.
    I went for plasma couple of times after that. Not sure if it's same with Plasma or not. But it's been a while now.

  • +2

    Wish I could, I remember my granddad making the trip down to Adelaide each Monday from the Stirling Hills to donate. Always thought that bit of effort probably saved so many people's lives.

    Sadly however I get monthly infusions of Tysebri for Multiple Sclerosis so don't think I am a viable blood bag.

  • Apart from Blood, they also collect Plasma and Breast Milk donations.

    The new website looks great:

  • +1

    I’ve donated 3 times and each time I’ve gone light headed and they’ve had to stop the blood flow and put my chair down so blood flows to my head.

    Nurse says they don’t need a full bag and every/any drop counts.

  • +1

    I have been blacklisted at one site because I fained while donating blood…I still attribute it to not eating my lunch that day….can I go and try again maybe at a different blood donation org?

    • +1

      Yes, try again. You can go to the same or another centre, they all have your records.

      You are only banned for 6 months if you faint.

    • +2

      I fainted on my first donation and I've done a few since. This is with red cross.

  • +3

    I'm gay and from the UK so Australia doesn't want my blood.

    • +2

      That's because you have mad cow disease and swine flu.

    • damn bovinans.
      Get out of here with ya mad cows.

  • I used to regularly. I think I've done it around 20 or 30 times. Then one time, a week after running a half marathon the levels of something (can't remember what) in my blood were off so now they won't let me donate unless I get a blood test to prove I'm able to. I've been too lazy to go and do it.

    I donated plasma once and the needle ended up popping out of my arm because I was squeezing the squishy thing too hard.

    • +1

      Low Hemoglobin / Iron. I used to go cycling for long distances and had low numbers too. Taking iron pills for pregnant women really helps.

  • +9

    Yes! 50+ times. O- here. If you can donate, you should do so.

    • +2

      Good job. O- is especially desireable. The golden drop.

  • +1

    I've been anaemic most of my adult life and had to have blood transfusions a few times, so wasn't able to donate. Hopefully I can now. I feel a bit less guilty using up all the supplies because my mum has haemochromatosis so she has donated a fair bit of blood.

  • +1

    i started last yeah im a- . pretty quickly i get a msg stating its going to x hospital to help someone
    i find sometimes i even get a good energy boost a few days later

  • +5

    Up to 165+ cause I like cheese and crackers.
    No hot food amd milk shakes in Darwin.
    Put my hand up for bone marrow donation and never been asked, heard that can be painful so not that disappointed but it's apparently a real life saver when needed.

    • +3

      I'm on the Bone Marrow registry too. I have gotten to Stage 2 testing but obviously I wasn't a further match for whomever needed marrow. This was many years ago.

    • Have had several bone marrow biopsies can confirm it's not nice, you get a green whistle which I'd say works quite well the first time and basically never again at least for me.

      • In 15 years I've never been asked. Might see if I'm still on the register when I'm in next week.

  • +1

    No, much to my shame I have a phobia of needles, hell even my last dentists visit I did without an injection for a filling replacement. It isn't the pain, just the mere thought of the needle penetrating my skin makes me break out in a cold sweat and get light headed. Vaccination was hell for me even though it doesn't hurt in the slightest.

  • +5

    I used to donate my blood regularly when I worked in the public service - free cup of tea and a biscuit - felt pleasant - giving to help someone

    until the Red Cross got bad press for providing blood to someone who got AIDS - meaning they didn't test it

    next time I showed up a guy put an A4 sheet on a clipboard in front of me before I could walk in and said 'you need to sign this'

    I stopped to read it - it was asking me to sign like 'I guarantee that I have never had sex with anybody who may have come into contact with the AIDS virus'

    I was 'how would I know that - I can't know what someone else has done when I wasn't with them - that's BS - you're asking me to take responsibility for something I can't know'

    he said 'then you can't give blood' - I was 'let me speak to your manager' - the manager said 'it was prepared by our lawyers'

    so I contacted head office - who replied similarly - I saw this as a weak shoddy attempt to cover themselves for their failure to test donated blood - by trying to make their donors legally liable for any problems !

    I didn't give blood - they wouldn't let me - and I've never donated blood to the Red Cross since

    Later I saw some story about the US Red Cross head office getting into trouble for some unethical mismanagement

    and lately I've seen a mobile Red Cross donation trailer - noted Red Cross is almost hidden since they lost their reputation, and now the big label says something like LifeBlood (don't read the small print)

    I've also learned they don't give your donated blood to hospitals - they sell it !

    And you know how non-profit organisations work ? You donate - they sell it for a profit - they can pay their CEO $2Mpa ('administration expenses') - and then say they didn't make a profit - so they don't pay tax !

    Sound good ?

    • +2

      I completely understand where you are coming from. The ethical issues you have brought up are pretty valid especially as it relates to governance of a not-for-profit.

      That said, at the end of the day, I'm not aware of any other organisation that collects blood in this way? This is a life-saving service, that yes might not be perfect and does have issues as yourself and others have pointed out but where else will people who need a blood transfusion get their blood from? It seems like donating blood is a vital service that might necessitate overlooking some of the questionable bits of their service for the sake of the good that it brings to members of our community.

      • I think you will find that the blood service is funded and supervised by the Department of Health. I can't comment about selling the blood to the hospitals, but that does sound a bit sus.

    • +1

      Unfortunately, despite all the ethical issues you bring up, there is no competition to Lifeblood in NSW.

      So, although I want to, there is nowhere else I can donate blood, that then sell it to hospitals.

      Donating blood is more important than any of the issues you bring up; it is saving someone's life.

      Until such time as there is competition, I will continue to donate blood at Lifeblood, despite how bad it is.

      • +6

        Per above link:

        Blood donors give their blood for free. Why is there a cost printed on blood bag labels? Are you charging for blood?

        There is no charge to patients for the bag of blood generously donated by blood donors. The inclusion of the indicative manufacturing cost printed on the label is to increase health provider awareness and appreciation of the costs associated with the provision of blood and blood products within Australia. It also supports awareness that blood is a precious resource given generously by donors. It should be used and managed with care.

        and then

        Are you planning to charge patients for blood?

        No, definitely not. The National Blood Authority has asked Lifeblood to put the cost on each bag of blood to make people aware that it does cost money to provide blood to hospitals. Patients are not charged for the blood in public hospitals or private hospitals, and there are no plans to change this.

        • I don't know about blood or its costs, etc.

          But invoicing could be a way for them to get money from Government to buy the equipment needed, employ nurses, run blood banks, etc.
          (by that I mean the Government TELLS them - "we -> REQUIRE <- you to invoice us, (for us to give you money")).
          It could be funded that way, so its not seem as a one off scheme (i.e. limited life, until next contract, etc) but rather a permanent program.

          Many Gov departments have weird rules and requirements.
          I mean if you told me that a Hospital literally couldn't use the blood without invoice, I wouldn't be surprised.
          hence why sue from accountants is also on call 24/7, just like ER doctors and nurses.
          Only sue knows how to work it:

  • +9

    I’ve donated nearly 70 times. Always went the same arm so now that whole area is numb I can’t even feel the needle go in.
    Loving the new addition of sausage rolls and meat pies!

  • +10

    I'm too gaybones to donate blood apparently. I don't mind though, I don't like small pricks anyway.

  • I don't think I can, I'm a thalassemia carrier.

  • +1

    Yes, and my latest blood bag went to a hospital in the North Shore of Sydney. I'm happy as long as they don't give my blood to an anti-vaxer lol

  • +2

    I donate. I've done 21 total donations now, 19 blood and 2 plasma. Can no longer donate plasma as I very nearly fainted twice immediately after donating. Have also copped two six-month bans since I started donating too.

    • Plasma just seems like the most draining experience ever. They drained like 500 ml of blood from me in 4 minutes so they said come back and do plasma because we think your veins are super fast!

    • Wouldn't of thought that. I do solely plasma.
      I'm usually dehydrated afterwards so drink heaps before and after and I'm always fine.
      But everyone is different.
      Good luck with the blood, it is much quicker.

  • +1

    I used to donate whole blood and plasma regularly (O neg, here) until I was put on a medication that prohibits me from donating. It saddens me that I've had to prioritise giving myself a slightly better quality of life over actually potentially saving the lives of others but I figure that at least it's not due to mere laziness or apathy.

    • +1

      be happy you saved lives! ;-)

  • +5

    50th Donation next week.

    FYI…this is an exempt activity for travel in NSW.

    So you are allowed to go from your home to a Blood Centre for donations, even if more than 50k.

  • +2

    I'm somewhere between 10 and 15 times - mostly plasma as fewer travel restrictions (going to certain countries means can't give red blood for x months and I used to travel a lot)

    I don't do it on any kind of regular/fixed schedule though, probably should as its not that much time out of my day, and usually just browse reddit or watch youtube/movies whilst there anyway.

  • +2

    I donated last week after being reminded that donations were a good excuse to leave the house during lockdown. I had donated a couple of times 5-6 years ago. Honestly, I had a great time. I've never loved needles, but the staff were super friendly, The donation chair was very comfy, the refreshments were great (staff member made me a milkshake) and of course, you get the endorphin rush of doing something good. I was told that I have great veins for plasma (whatever that means), so I plan on going back soon and donating plasma.

  • +9

    Done 48 whole bloods and 1 plasma. Started when there was a shortage after the Bali bombings and have been a regular ever since.
    No. 50 is due in the next month.

  • +2

    Used to do it regularly when I lived in the UK. It was arranged thru work every few months for those that wanted to do it. My then manager was very keen on people donating blood, so didn't mind a few of us going together and then spending an hour or two in the pub before coming back to the office. Simpler times. Probably donated maybe 10-15 times.

    Since I moved to Oz I haven't been able to, because they won't accept donations from anyone that lived in the UK during the mad cow disease issues they had there in the 1990s. AFAIK that position has not changed. Would gladly do it again if I could.

    • even though you have bovinan, I still upvoted your comment.

  • +1

    Donated 120+ times. But I had a bone graft for a dental implant, because of that they won't let me donate any more. I got a medal & free chocolates(fancy ones) at 25, 50, 100 times. I got a free drink bottle on the 100. Apparently, around $400 gets transacted between the Government, CSL, Red cross per donation.

  • +1

    I would if i could get over my irrational fear of needles.

  • +2

    I won't be donating again. So many questions! They wanted to know why the blood was in a bucket and who it belonged to.

  • +1

    No. Not allowed to donate blood in Australia. The rules deny the ability to donate blood as I was in England during the mad cow disease period. Even though I'm vegetarian.

    • That's being lifted.

      • And about b——y time! I last donated blood in Sydney in September 1983 and it was my 13th donation. I then spent several years in the UK and Germany and when I returned I was banned from donating. I am keen to move on from unlucky 13.

  • +7

    Im in the waiting room about to do my 100th donation :)

    • +1

      Hope you got your photo up on the wall!!

  • +1

    Yep. Realised it's an extra bit of good I can do for the world, it makes me feel like part of a team, and as others have said it's satisfyin when they send you the text telling you how your blood is being used to help someone.

    I try to do whole blood and also plasma, as most as possible. I've been a bit slack during covid times but after my second dose i'll be back at it regularly.

  • +1

    I would donate more frequently, as it really is quite straight forward and of immense benefit to others (and any of us could need blood at any time), but unfortunately my veins aren't particularly accessible. The last time I donated there was only one nurse who was willing to have a go, and even then it was a struggle to get a full bag. To those who can do it easily and do so, I thank you.

  • I used to but I don't go into Adelaide much anymore and I'm not making a trip just for that

  • No, I nearly passed out with a blood test! :/

  • +1

    No. I would but I lived in the UK for 10 years and they won't let me.

    • That ban is being lifted. Try again.

  • +2

    I enjoy giving blood/plasma. You get to kick back for 30 minutes during your busy work day, everyone is really nice to you and you get lots of snacks. Of course you're also helping those in need. Win win.

  • +1

    I donate full blood and plasma. Will be doing my 75th donation on the 10th September!

  • +1

    I used to go quarterly with a bunch of friends but was getting super fatigued and after a blood test my doctor told me I had undetectable levels of iron. Had an iron infusion but am yet to go back as I want to see how my iron naturally depletes over a year without donating. It's probably partially my bad for not taking iron tablets as they began suggesting semi-recently. I think I'm on 16 donations.

    • Have you also looked at your diet to eat iron rich foods more?

      • +1

        I think low iron is in my family but more conscious of my diet as well now. :)

  • +12

    Thank you to those that donate.

    My wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at 26 whilst pregnant with our first child.
    Long story short, she needed whole blood, plasma and platelets during chemotherapy and recovery from surgery.
    Without your life saving donations, there is a chance my wife wouldn't be around anymore and my son would have grown up without a mum.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you ♥️

    • +3

      And it’s stories like this that helps me deal with the fear of the needle.

  • Did a couple of times, but about 1/3 end up going faint for who knows what reason and they stop so I stopped trying felt like i wasting there time

  • +1

    Started out with whole blood donation until they moved me to plasma due to blood type. At one point I was donating fairly regularly (once/month or so) but noticed that I was falling sick more easily, particularly in the winter months. I've since spaced out to once every 3-4 months but haven't donated in the past year due to Covid.

  • +1

    I can’t because of health issues but I encourage friends to.

    I’m an organ and blood recipient so thanks!

  • i used to do it twice a year.. pre covid…
    stopped since covid started.. too hard to do it.
    IE, the centre have to social distance, resulting in appointment is always booked out for weeks.

  • I would if I didn't pass out everytime I get a blood test

  • +2

    Yes! Since I was first able to & my dad took me (I forget 17 or 18 maybe?), have my 99th donation coming up on Friday then just need to find time around work to book in for that magical 100! Plasma though, so obviously able to much more often than whole blood.
    I can certainly see the squirmy part or any side effects being a deterrent and I'm lucky enough to not ever have any other side effects other than tingling lips from the anticoagulant they give me, and a couple of leaky veins - never really been faint or anything. But if you are able to I think its a great thing to do and as others have said depending on your donor centre theres usually a good feed afterwards, coffee etc.

  • +3

    Yes. Up to 26 whole blood donations.

  • +3

    I had a friend at high school get passionate about donating blood after finding out he was a universal donor - only to find out soon after he had lived in the UK in his younger years and was now ineligible. I took up donating on his behalf.

    Did a lot through uni and after when I had more free time. Took my brother once and we raced to see who could do the fastest donation - a nurse yelled at us. Eventually got busier and kind of stopped.

    My Dad went in for a really major surgery and I came in to the hospital to see him hooked up to 2 bags of B+ blood that had been donated. I got right back to donating again.

    They finally persuaded me to try plasma donations. Turns out I have universal donor plasma. So after each donation the bag of plasma goes into a delivery van and, usually, into a city hospital for use.

    I’ve certainly been more consistent during lockdowns because it’s been a reason to get out of the house every two weeks - it’s pretty noticeable because there’s way more people than there used to be. I enjoy the quiet time to be forced to sit and read a book or listen to a podcast with only the occasional interruption asking you to squeeze more or state your full name and date of birth. Afterwards you can sit and eat tiny biscuits and cheese which I also enjoy.

    I’m currently on 69 donations. The next “milestone” donation is 75.

    Little tip for regular donors - the app (hidden away under more / health statistics) tracks your blood pressure and haemoglobin. Helpful if you ever need to show it to a doctor and track what it’s doing.

  • Not allowed to as I lived in the UK during mid 90s - mad cows time. Apparently they’re looking at allowing donations however….

  • I would if it didn't involve a thick needle in my effing arm. Seriously, I can't stand needles.

  • +2

    93 so far. Hoping for 100 this year but they won't touch me with cold symptoms 🤧

    • At 100, they get someone to jump out of a cake.
      Or you get cake.

      Actually I dunno, but I think it involves cake.

  • +2

    43 donations, mostly plasma. On a couple of occasions there's been a greater need for whole blood, so I've gone with that. At the start of the pandemic last year, supply chain problems meant that they couldn't get the anti-coagulant needed for plasma, so that time became a whole blood donation too.

    I usually donate every fourth Saturday, after I've had a haircut, but the ACT lockdown has screwed up my haircut schedule, and being a Casual Contact recently has screwed up my donation schedule too. I've since rebooked for next Wednesday, with a view to getting them back in sync when the ACT's lockdown is over…… whenever that might end up being. :/

    Fortunately I have easy veins, and I just chill out with my NC headphones when I'm in the chair.

  • +1

    Learnt so much about blood donation from this thread. Thank you guys!

  • +2

    Really surprised (in a good way) about the poll results so far!

    • Were you expecting to see more "No" than "Yes" responses? :)

      I'm surprised pretty equal at the moment too!

      • +1

        Given that there are always blood shortages - my impression did paint that picture.

  • I gave plasma twice but then I was told I couldn't anymore due to "low platelet count'.

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