Misconceptions hinder blood donation

Misconceptions hinder blood donation

Inaugural 'State of Donation' survey reveals Aussie attitudes toward blood donation.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has unveiled new research, which reveals misconceptions may be hindering blood donation.

The first ‘State of Donation’ survey, released on World Blood Donor Day, found Australians underestimate how much donated blood is needed by patients each year, while vastly overestimating how many roll up their sleeves.

“Three quarters of respondents don’t know that 1 in 3 people will need donated blood in their lifetime,” Lifeblood Executive Director, Donor Services, Cath Stone said.

“At the same time, more than 4 out of 5 Australians are unaware only 3% of the population – around half a million people - donates blood.

“More than half of respondents thought there were at least three times as many blood donors than there are.”

It’s a misconception that Lifeblood is trying to change, as it calls for 140,000 more donors.

“There are now more than three million extra people living in Australia than there were ten years ago, but the number of people who donate hasn’t changed,” she said.

Our existing blood donors can’t do it alone. Escalating cold and flu cases, COVID, busy lifestyles and all sorts of other reasons mean cancellations remain high.”

The research also found:

  • 68.8% have a greater appreciation now for our health system than pre-pandemic
  • 58.7% now spend more time at home or working from home than they did pre-pandemic
  • 2 in 3 (65.2%) want to return to ‘normal’ life
  • 1 in 2 people (48.1%) want to give back and help others more than they did pre-pandemic
  • 69% would be more likely to donate if they knew their blood type was in short supply
  • 72.5% would be more willing to donate if they knew someone who needed blood
  • 8 out of 10 people would want a blood transfusion to save their life
  • 41.1% believe most donated blood is used for road accident and trauma patients, when in fact, most donated blood is used in cancer treatment.

Lifeblood’s State of Donation survey will be conducted annually, with results released on World Blood Donor Day, to observe shifts and trends in community attitudes towards blood donation.

7000 donations are needed this National Blood Donor Week. You can book a donation online now, via the free DonateBlood App or by calling 13 14 95.