LIFE SAVER: Having reached a milestone of 300 blood and plasma donations in the past 20 years, Currimundi construction worker Andrew Robson plans to keep donating for as long as he can.
LIFE SAVER: Having reached a milestone of 300 blood and plasma donations in the past 20 years, Currimundi construction worker Andrew Robson plans to keep donating for as long as he can. Che Chapman

Triple century reached for generous Coast blood donor

IT'S difficult to imagine just how many lives Andrew Robson has saved with a couple of decades of regular blood and plasma donations.

The Currimundi donor has recently celebrated a milestone - his 300th donation.

Mr Robson, a construction worker, said he first donated 20-plus years ago and would continue to for as long as he could.

The 52-year-old said it took about seven minutes to give whole blood and about 40 to give plasma, so it was not a great time out of one's life.

While plasma donations can be made fortnightly, whole blood donations can be made about only four times per year - once every three months.

"It is something I can do that can give back to the community," Mr Robson said, adding that a blood donation could give a sick or injured person a new life.

"Donating blood or plasma helps people, without too much of an inconvenience.

"It is not a big commitment and you feel better for having done it."

READ MORE: Extraordinary people celebrated in National Blood Donor Week

Over the years, Mr Robson has become a familiar face at the Maroochydore blood centre, and before that the Nambour centre, making plasma donations every fortnight.

Plasma, a pale liquid, is the nutrient-rich component of blood. It is like "liquid gold" because it can be made into 18 different life-saving products for patients with cancer, third-degree burns and immune deficiency.

"I recommend people donate blood, but I don't push it," Mr Robson said. "It is a personal choice, but it is a worthwhile choice."

Since reaching the mile stone, Mr Robson has taken a break from donating plasma but he is still keeping up with his regular whole blood donations, as that is what is most needed at the moment.

"Once you get to 300, you have done your fair share," he said with a laugh.

Sunshine Coast blood, plasma and platelet donors will be celebrated during National Blood Donor Week, which starts today.

Fifty-seven locals will receive awards for their life-saving efforts on the Coast as part of the festivities today.

The bloody battle to save lives

THERE are 7800 registered blood donors on the Sunshine Coast, but the ever increasing demand for blood and blood products means new donors are always needed.

The Coast's Red Cross Blood Service has teamed up with the Sunshine Coast Sunday for Target 300 - a campaign to attract 300 new blood donors in the next four weeks.

Winter is always a particularly challenging time for the blood service as cold and flu symptoms mean hundreds of donors cancel their appointments each week.

A constant supply of more than 770 donations is needed on the Sunshine Coast each week to help cancer patients, road trauma victims, unborn babies, women in childbirth and people undergoing emergency surgery.

One in three of us will need donated blood in our lifetime and the best way to ensure it will be available when we need it is to give blood if we can.

The blood service is urging people who are aged between 16 and 70, feel fit and healthy and want to save lives, to roll up their sleeves and give blood this winter.

To get involved in Target 300 or to donate blood, phone the Blood Service on 131 495 or visit http://www.donateblood.com.au


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