What we’ve learned about blood donors in 2022

What we’ve learned about blood donors in 2022

Blood donors are overachievers. Not only are you giving to change lives, but your donation can also contribute to world-leading research, like helping track the progress of a pandemic.

In a recent study by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, the Kirby Institute, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, and other research partners, researchers examined 5,185 de-identified samples from Australian blood donors.

They were primarily looking for evidence of COVID-19-related antibodies. Two types of antibody were tested: a protein, indicating past infection, and an antibody to the spike protein that can indicate past infection or vaccination (or both!).

The study found that, at the end of February this year, at least 17% of Australian adults had probably had COVID-19.

Queensland had the highest antibody positivity rate, while Western Australia had the lowest. The research bridges the gap created by people who had the virus, but perhaps didn’t realise, didn’t present for a test, or whose positive test result was not lodged.

Each year during National Blood Donor Week, we’ll release our inaugural ‘State of Donation’ research, revealing Aussie attitudes toward blood donation. In 2022, we found there are some common misconceptions out there that may be holding some of you back from visiting your local donor centre.

We’re always reminding our donors how special you are, because we know that just 3% of the population donate blood — that’s around half a million people.

More than half of you thought there were at least three times more blood donors!

At the same time, three quarters of people underestimated how much donated blood is needed by patients each year, surprised to learn that 1 in 3 people will need it in their lifetime.

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

Our existing blood donors can’t do it alone. In fact, we need a new blood donor every 4 minutes. So, it’s very encouraging to know that nearly 1 in 2 people want to give back and help others more than they did pre-pandemic.

We also learned that 58.7% of Australians now spend more time at home or working from home than they did pre-pandemic. If you’re missing those watercooler conversations and book recommendations from your colleagues, a regular visit to your local donor centre is just what you need.