“I’ve just always wanted to do something to help other people.”
“If you need a transfusion it generally means that you are pretty crook… and you don’t really have a choice when you need a transfusion… if you need it you need it, so donating helps those people when they need it the most.”
More common than you think
When Anthony first started donating plasma back in 2013, he didn’t have a specific reason that motivated him… he simply felt compelled to do something that would help others. But since he began, he’s realised just how important his donations have been. He explains,
“At the time… no one I knew had ever needed a transfusion… it was just something easy I could do to help out. It wasn’t like I had particular personal experience… but talking to people since I started, when you tell them that you donate… it’s amazing how frequently people say, ‘I’ve had a transfusion,’ or they know someone who has. It is actually quite common. Then you start to realise just how important it is because it affects so many people.”
Lunch break donations
Unlike regular blood donations, where you have to wait up to three months between sessions, plasma donations can be completed every fortnight.
So, Anthony has been making the regular trip to the local Collins St collection centre every second Tuesday during his lunch break.
The Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website says,
“While you’re resting in a comfortable chair, a special machine draws blood from your arm. The machine separates the blood out to collect the plasma.
During your donation, we use an anticoagulant called citrate. Citrate allows us to return your red cells to you through the same needle.
This process is repeated until enough plasma has been collected, which usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour.”
Anthony tells us that after a donation it is compulsory to wait at the centre for 15 minutes to make sure you are recovering from the process. You are given something to eat and drink to help with recovery.
His dedication to donating has encouraged other team members to join him, and while no one else has reached his impressive milestone yet, we organise regular First Financial donation days. Our next session is scheduled for early February and already we have Katie Stevens, Emily Still, Rebecca Ruck and Vivek Mishra as volunteers.
Giving back to our community is a rewarding experience. If you’d like to find out more about donating blood or plasma, visit the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website.