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Donate blood to help save a life

Wednesday 14 June 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in Health, National


Donate blood to help save a life
Blood donors can save someone’s life or improve someone’s health. 23061301

In true form to mark World Blood Donor Day and to recognise donors, Cook Islands Red Cross Society is hosting a blood drive at their office today with extra special refreshments to mark the occasion.

There are approximately 260 registered blood donors in the Cook Islands.

Rose Winters, Cook Islands Red Cross Society first aid coordinator and communications officer said, “the Cook Islands has a 100 per cent voluntary non-remunerated blood donation (VNRBD) system, meaning that all donors are volunteers and not paid for blood or plasma.”

Red Cross has had an average of two blood drives per month in 2023 and so far 106 units of blood has been donated this year.

Winters said the most common blood types in the Cook Islands are A+ & O+, blood types like A-, AB-, AB+, O-, B- and B+ are rarer in the Cook Islands, O- blood type is a universal donor and AB+ blood type is a universal receiver.

“Anyone in good health can donate from the ages of 16-60 years old,” said Winters.

“The Moana Sands Group in particular has shown support of the blood donation program recently, hosting us there for blood drives and encouraging their staff to be blood donors. Big thanks to their management and staff.”

June 14 is celebrated annually as World Blood Donor Day - dedicated to recognising the importance of giving blood and to thanking blood donors.

The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day is ‘Give Blood, Give Plasma, Share Life, Share Often’.

Donating blood is one of the simplest, quickest ways to save someone’s life, or improve someone’s health.

It only takes 15-20 minutes to donate blood, men can donate every four months and women can donate every six months. 

Blood transfusions can be required for patients that have been in a vehicle accident, mothers who have just given birth, and for supportive care during surgery. 

If you are interested in becoming a blood donor or you would like more information about the programme please call Red Cross on 22598 or email Rose Winters at