UK blood and plasma donors exceed expectations after mad cow rule change

Pamela Poulton began donating blood and plasma at the Australia Red Cross Blood Donation Centre after the mad cow ban was lifted.

IT’S been one year since the mad cow blood ban was lifted, and Coffs Coast locals impacted by the rule have made more than 500 blood donations since the rule change.

The team at Australia Red Cross Blood Donation Centre in Coffs Plaza has welcomed 164 new blood donors.

“UK expats and Aussies who spent time in the UK have made more than 123,000 blood and plasma donations nationally in the twelve months since the ‘mad cow’ ban was lifted, exceeding expectations,” Ruth Harrison, Group Account Manager at Australian Red Cross Lifeblood told News Of The Area.

“The lovely Pamela Poulton is one of these locals, who has come in to donate fifteen times in the twelve months since the rule change.

“Pamela had been waiting 20 years to be eligible to donate again and loves her regular visits to Lifeblood Coffs Harbour,” she said.

“Everybody should donate if they can,” said Pam.

“It doesn’t hurt, and it is very easy to do.”

Lifeblood Executive Director of Donor Experience Cath Stone said the organisation was thrilled with the uptake in donations.

These newly eligible donors are contributing nearly one in every ten blood and plasma donations in Australia.

However, the reality is that with demand at its highest in a decade.

“We still need more donors to boost supplies and there are still more than 800,000 people who may have become eligible because of this rule change,” said Cath.

“Right now, in particular, we need more people with O positive and O negative to book a donation.”

“I urge the community not to rule themselves out.

“Spread the word and encourage friends, colleagues and loved ones to check their eligibility and donate now if they can.

“After all, one in three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime, so we should all think about paying it forward.”

To check your eligibility and book a donation, call 13 14 95, visit or download the Donate Blood app.


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