Young women most likely to donate

By Kiri Gillespie


Women in their 20s with the universal blood type of O+ have been identified as the most giving at Tauranga's branch of the New Zealand Blood Service, ahead of World Blood Donor Day tomorrow.

Of the 5306 donors registered in Tauranga, 2906 are female, 1971 are O+ and 1060 are aged from 20 to 29. But men aged 70+ with a blood type of AB were in short supply, figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times reveal.

Matua mum Pastelle Duncanson is one of the 2906.

"I probably do it for a selfish reason because if I ever have a blood transfusion, hopefully people will have donated blood for me, if I need it," she said.

The 21-year-old nursing student has donated blood for about five years since the blood service came to her school when she was 16 to ask for donors.

Ms Duncanson said her chosen career path probably had something to do with her motivation to keep going every three months.

"Because of the circumstances that I've been involved in, as part of my studies, I definitely think there's a need for it and it definitely does help save lives."

More than 80 businesses in Tauranga ranging from accountants, engineers, lawyers, bankers, healthcare workers, fisheries and council donate as a group.

On average, a person donates 2.2 times a year in Tauranga - the highest frequency in New Zealand.

The service's marketing and communications manager Paul Hayes said Tauranga had a small database so donors were asked to come back more regularly.

"With such a high community spirit in Tauranga, our donors seem to be more than happy to help us out when we ask them to. This is why we are always trying to grow our database, so donors don't get phoned all the time."

Mr Hayes said although it had a healthy stock of AB blood donors, the service was keen to get more donating plasma as well, as AB is the universal plasma donor.

The service, on Cameron Rd, will celebrate World Blood Donor Day with donors who have made appointments.

"It's really important that people phone the 0800 number (0800 448 325) or go online to make an appointment to donate so we can manage what blood types are donating on any certain day."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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