Fiona Dugdale started saving lives well before she became a nurse two years ago.

It started when she was in her 20s and began to donate blood.

And, yesterday, the Rotorua woman clocked up her 100th donation, which means her blood has played a role in helping about 300 others.

Ms Dugdale said donating blood was just a natural thing to do.


She can't remember the exact reason why she started, but said it was probably due to publicity around the importance of donating blood. Since then, she's been going back each time she is eligible - about once every three months - to do what she sees as her duty.

"It's saving lives. My mum died last year and they gave her blood before she died. She had about 12 units."

Because her blood type is one of the rare ones - AB negative - the blood service has called her in the past when they were short of that particular type of blood.

Fiona Dugdale gives blood for the 100th time, helped by donor technician Tracey Miller. Photo / Ben Fraser
Fiona Dugdale gives blood for the 100th time, helped by donor technician Tracey Miller. Photo / Ben Fraser

"I can remember one time when I got contacted and they wanted me at the hospital straight away to help with blood for two little babies. I jumped in the car and went up there."

Ms Dugdale, who received a certificate and letter from the Governor-General to mark her 100th donation, said she was lucky that she'd always been fit and healthy so able to donate blood.

She said it was surprising how many people didn't donate or didn't think of it.

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New Zealand Blood Service Hamilton co-ordinator Amanda Brodie said it was great to see people such as Ms Dugdale notch up 100 donations. People in Rotorua could only donate four times a year, so it showed her commitment over time.

Blood was separated into red blood cells, platelets and plasma, with platelets lasting about a week, and plasma lasting up to two years, frozen.

- For information about giving blood go to and for video of Fiona Dugdale giving blood, go to
What is it used for?

* Fresh frozen plasma - used to treat patients following trauma or transplantation.

* Platelets - used to support patients undergoing treatment for some blood diseases and cancer and also to control bleeding following cardiac surgery and trauma.

* Red cell component - used for treatment of people with chronic anaemia resulting from disorders such as kidney failure or cancers, and acute blood loss as a result of trauma or surgery.

- New Zealand Blood Service