NSWPF to make record breaking blood donation attempt - Bleed4Blue

Friday, 10 December 2021 01:02:38 PM

The NSW Police Force is attempting to break the record for the number of blood donations given by a Lifeblood team in a single day as part of the ‘Bleed4Blue’ blood drive.

‘Bleed4Blue’ is an annual, three-month law enforcement-focused blood drive that was launched in 2018 following the stabbing of Detective Sergeant John Breda at Maroubra on Australia Day 2018.

Now in its fourth year, NSWPF have launched Operation ‘Bleed4Blue’ with employees, family, friends and the community encouraged to visit a Lifeblood donor centre across the state to donate life-saving blood products.

In addition to the summer drive, NSWPF will be attempting to break the record for the number of donations in a single day today (Friday 10 December 2021). The highest donation total recorded by a Lifeblood Team in a single day in Australia is 230 successful donations.

Lifeblood Centres have thrown their support behind the challenge, turning their centres blue, wearing blue clothes, and even serving blue refreshments to donors.

Saving lives is part of the job for officers, explains Assistant Commissioner Steve Hegarty who helped launch today’s challenge and is urging police to take part.

“We take our police operations very seriously, and this blood drive is no different,” said Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“As first responders, police know all too well how important blood donations are for people who have been injured as a result of crime, crashes or accidents.

“If we can come together to donate life-saving blood products, we can help to save many more lives.”

The Bleed4Blue drive is run in partnership with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and was established after Det Sgt John Breda lost almost 12 litres of blood when he was stabbed during a police operation. The medical team used more than 100 bags of blood to keep him alive, including 48 bags in one six-hour surgery.

Recipients remain eternally grateful for the blood they receive that gives them another chance at life, like Estelle, who needed two transfusions after being born blue and not breathing.

“Estelle was born extremely premature at 26 weeks and 3 days gestation and both her life as well as mine were saved by life giving blood transfusions during and after her birth. After defying all odds, Estelle has since turned 5 years old and is excitedly preparing for school next year,” said her mother, Rachel.

“I suffered Placenta Percreta, which has a maternal mortality rate of 1 in 9 and had lost 5 litres of blood throughout Estelle’s emergency delivery.

“I woke from a coma to discover that both Estelle and I had survived which couldn’t have happened without the generosity of blood donors across Australia. Both my husband Nathan and I are active blood donors and passionate advocates for the Australian community to get involved and donate blood.

“I am honoured to be part of Bleed4Blue and witness a sea of blue supporting everyday people who need blood and blood products to survive. As a recipient, it’s the sea of red we need, and we rely on donors and supporters so that we can have our tomorrows and our happily ever afters.”

Each week, Lifeblood requires 31,000 donations to meet demand which is at a 10-year-high. Hospitals are reporting increased presentations in emergency, obstetrics, and surgery. Coupled with December being a busy time and elective surgeries being rescheduled post-lockdown, blood drives provide life-saving donations.

“The need for blood never takes a break and donated blood will be needed every day between now and New Year’s Eve to help treat many sick and seriously ill Australians,” said Carley Byrnes, Lifeblood.

“With hospital demand for blood the highest it’s been in nearly a decade, December is the time for all of us to do what police do so well – roll up our sleeves and lend an arm when it’s most needed.”

During the 2020 campaign, a total of 4,419 donations were made across the country, with the NSW Police Force making 1,126 donations, helping to save up to 3,378 lives.

About Bleed4Blue

The ‘Bleed4Blue’ campaign runs from Wednesday 1 December until the end of February 2022 and will again challenge police from across Australia to take part to see which state or territory can donate the most blood.

Since its inception, the Bleed4Blue campaign has generated more than 15,093 blood donations and helped save over 45,000 lives.