Blood Donations

Every 46 minutes, someone in Australia is diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

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Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. AML is not a single disease. It is the name given to a group of leukaemias that develop in the myeloid cell line in the bone marrow. Myeloid cells are red blood cells, platelets and all white blood cells excluding lymphocytes.

AML is characterised by an overproduction of immature white blood cells, called myeloblasts or leukaemic blasts. These cells crowd the bone marrow, preventing it from making normal blood cells. They can also spill out into the bloodstream and circulate around the body. Due to their immaturity they are unable to function properly to prevent or fight infection. Inadequate numbers of red cells and platelets being made by the marrow can cause anaemia, easy bleeding, and/or bruising.

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) affects around 900 Australians yearly, most commonly elderly patients. With current treatments, the overall survival rate is less than 10% for patients above 60 and at best 40% in younger individuals.

Current Statistics

1 in 3

Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime

1 in 30

Australians give blood each year (3%)

1 = 3

One blood donation can save up to three lives

27,000

Australia needs more than 27,000 donations every week

100%

Demand for blood will grow 100% in the next 10 years

HOW BLOOD DONATION HELPS PEOPLE WITH BLOOD CANCER

About 8 out of every 10 Australians will experience a blood-related disease at some point in their lives.

Blood clots can cause heart attack or stroke, and blood cancers (such as lymphomas or leukaemia) make up about 15 % of cancers in Australia. New treatments for these life-threatening conditions depend on medical research.

About a third of donated blood in Australia is used to help treat people with cancer. Of these people, blood cancers such as leukaemias, lymphomas or myeloma require a significant amount of donated blood for life-saving treatment.

To treat one patient with acute leukaemia for one month needs 45 people to donate blood. On average, treatment of leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma lasts for eight months but can last for years.

Blood donor requirements for research projects

Research scientists need donated blood to investigate the causes of blood-related diseases.

The donor requirements for medical research may be slightly different from those for blood service donors, depending on the research project. For example, people with bleeding disorders or people who are taking blood-thinning medications are not usually able to participate in a research project that studies healthy platelets.

People who usually don’t qualify as blood service donors sometimes qualify as donors for medical research, depending on the project. All donors must be 18 years or over.

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How you can help our research

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If you are interested in donating blood for our medical research at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, you can email Elizabeth Newman or call her on 9767 5706.

Mention that you would like to contribute to Dendritic Cell Research. Elizabeth will then provide you with an information form, which outlines the purpose of the research and you are given a consent form to sign.

The blood collection procedure is safe and is performed by a qualified scientist, nurse or doctor. It takes about 20 minutes.

The amount of blood taken depends on the needs of the research project. The maximum amount is 400 ml. Your body needs only a couple of days to replace this volume.

Depending on the amount of blood taken, you can donate again within three months. Most people can donate regularly.

Your name and contact details are kept on a database in case you would like to give future donations.

If you have a complaint about any aspect of the research, you can contact the Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee

CONTACT US

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