Blood Processing Centre key to Australia’s safe blood supply

The most technologically advanced and largest blood processing centre in the southern hemisphere was acknowledged by the Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, as playing a key role in ensuring Australia’s blood supply is safe and secure.

Page last updated: 27 July 2015

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27 July 2015

The most technologically advanced and largest blood processing centre in the southern hemisphere was acknowledged today by the Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, as playing a key role in ensuring Australia’s blood supply is safe and secure.

Launching National Blood Donor Week, which began on Sunday, Minister Nash toured the Melbourne Processing Centre where the bulk of Australia’s blood supply is tested, processed and distributed.

“While people who generously give blood are at the core of our blood supply, centres like this one are responsible for ensuring that Australia maintains one of the safest and most secure blood supplies in the world,” Minister Nash said.

“This state of the art centre receives all blood donations from across Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia to test and process before distributing to hospitals to meet the specific needs of individual patients.

“The Centre processed over 525,000 donations last year and is future proofed to double this capacity if required. It is even designed to safeguard the blood supply in the event of an emergency, with the facility able to withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake and operate in ‘island-mode’ – no external gas, water, electricity or sewerage - for up to four days.”

Minister Nash said that every week Australia needs around 25,000 blood donations.

“Currently only one in 30 people donate blood but one in three people will need blood in their lifetime. In addition, medical advances are driving an increase in the demand for donated plasma,” she said.

“A single blood donation, when separated into its components, can help at least three different patients and plasma donations contribute to making up to 18 different products (including potentially life-saving immunisations for chicken pox, hepatitis B and tetanus).”

Minister Nash urged everyone to join the many generous Australians who roll up their sleeves and donate blood.

“National Blood Donor Week is a special week in the health calendar and I would like to thank, and celebrate, the extraordinary contribution our blood donors make to the health system in Australia,” she said.

“In particular I was pleased to present today an award to one of Australia’s longest standing blood donors, Beryl Millman, who has selflessly made 200 whole blood only donations over more than 56 years,” Minister Nash said.

“There are nearly 500,000 blood donors in Australia who made over 1,300,000 blood donations last year and I encourage all people who are eligible to donate to contact the Blood Service.”

The Australian Government provided $372 million to the Blood Service in 2015-16 to ensure Australia continues to have a safe and secure blood supply.

Media contact: Kay McNiece, 0412 132 585

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