By Mick Jensen
Alan Huband has notched up his 100th blood donation and the New Zealand Blood Service has presented him with a framed print and certificate to mark the impressive milestone.
The 70 year-old retired to Ashburton five years ago from Dunedin and first gave blood in 1978.
For the past two decades he’s consistently given blood four times a year.
“They were calling for donors years ago, and I thought why not do my bit,” said Mr Huband.
“It isn’t every day you can do something to save someone’s life, but by giving blood you can.
“It’s quick and easy to do and it’s a priceless donation.”
Mr Huband said he encouraged everyone that was able to give blood, to do it, regardless of their blood type.
“I know a few people who have received blood transfusions, and it may not be my blood they’ve received, but it’s from a donor like myself.”
Mr Huband said because he was over the age of 60, each appointment to give blood started with his own blood pressure and pulse tested.
Donors completed a health screen form and had a chat with a nurse before being allowed to roll up their sleeve to give blood, he said.
Each 470ml blood donation usually takes between six to eight minutes and, in Mr Huband’s case, whole blood is taken and used to help others.
Blood donors can give blood from the age of 16 and until they are 76.
“I’ll be six years time, but I’m keen to keep giving until then,” said Mr Huband.
The New Zealand Blood Service needs more than 3000 units of blood a week nationally to meet hospital needs.
Statistics show that less than 4 per cent of all possible donors actually roll their sleeves up and give each year.
Of the products collected, some 25% is used in cancer treatments, 18% for accident victims, 13% to help treat liver, kidney and heart disease and 11% is needed to treat pregnant women, children and babies.
The mobile blood service returns to the Ashburton Club and MSA on April 16. More information on the nzblood.co.nz website.