Blood donations drop for Rugby World Cup

By Paul Harper

More blood please. Donations have dropped by 3 per cent during the Rugby World Cup. Photo / Thinkstock
More blood please. Donations have dropped by 3 per cent during the Rugby World Cup. Photo / Thinkstock

The Rugby World Cup may have seen a rise in blood pressure for some teams' fans, but it has also seen a decrease in blood donations.

The New Zealand Blood Service says in the first week of the tournament, donations were down by around 100, or 3 per cent.

NZ Blood Service spokesperson Paul Hayes says the small decline is not unusual, but regular donations are vital to keep up with demand.

"Regular donations are critical because blood has a shelf life. Red blood cells only last 35 days and platelets last just 5 days," Mr Hayes says.

Around 3,000 units of blood are required each week to meet demand, the equivalent to nearly the entire capacity of North Harbour Stadium donating blood between now and the end of October.

"We are encouraging regular and first-time donors to make an appointment to donate blood sometime in the next month. Appointments help the Service with planning and provide a handy reminder for donors who might be a bit preoccupied with the festivities."

However rugby fans visiting from overseas may not be able to donate blood in New Zealand due to eligibility criteria.

Visit www.nzblood.co.nz or phone 0800 GIVE BLOOD to make an appointment to donate.

- Herald Online staff

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