Bloody Blood Service

The Mobile Blood Bank is back in my neck of the woods this week, and because it’s so inconvenient to get to their Southbank outlet (inlet?) I try to make a point of going as often as I can.

So I planned to go along on this afternoon after picking up the kids from school (Tuesday is my short work day). It pays to book, as one time I merrily went along and found they were completely booked-out.

They generally send a letter advising of their imminent arrival, then ring later in the week to ask if you want to book. So I thought I’d await their call. Sure enough they rang on Friday.

The problem? They were already fully booked on Monday and Tuesday, and most spots taken on Wednesday and Thursday. Really, it was hardly worth them ringing.

Now, I think giving blood is a good thing to do. The Blood Service frequently advertise for more donors. But they don’t make it easy, with mobile branches booked-out, and permanent branches in inconvenient locations with inconvenient hours. I think they’re under-resourced.

Hey, wait a minute. They now have a branch in Bourke Street. When did that happen? Maybe things are improving.

Anyway, a happy ending. They rang back yesterday to say they’d found a slot at precisely the right time: 3:45pm today. Excellent.

PS 5:20pm: Apparently my blood-pressure is 115 over 70, and my blood count is 162. Or is it 16.2?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Bloody Blood Service”

Good on you for giving blood! As the ad says, the 97% of Victorians who don’t give blood will thank you one day…
The Bourke St branch has been there for at least 5 years. You can get party pies and a milk shake at the end. And if you bring the kids along with you, THEY get the same treats if you ask nicely.

The Bourke St branch is a good place to catch up with friends for an early morning blood donation, chat and milkshake! I also tend to go to the local mobile collection point when they’re in the neighbourhood, but making the effort to get to Bourke St occasionally is also a good chance to socialise!

i’ve resorted to booking in at the southbank location because there are more early morning appointments available there. luckily the 55 tram goes right past my house and will drop me at the blood bank :)

It could be either 162 or 16.2, depending on which measuring system they are currently using. Either way, it is bang in the middle of the normal range for an adult male (140 – 180 or 14 – 18), so good going there. And the Bp is impressive too. (You must not find giving blood stressful – my resting Bp is usually around 120 / 72-75, but at the blood bank, it’s never lower than 130 / 80!)

A few of us at work went together to the Bourke St ‘outlet’ and second Roger’s recommendation of the milkshakes(and our employer allows it on work time, which is great). They then wrote and said because of my blood type, I should consider donating plasma as well (although maybe they tell everyone that, coz I think mine’s the most common – O +ve).

That got me thinking about being a bone marrow donor and I was quite surprised when i researched it, how basic the procedure is for the donor. Here’s my plug for you all to go and have a read too!


The best donors for Plasma are AB Rh+. This is so because your plasma does not contain molecules (antibodies) that would react with your body’s own groups A, B or RH+.

TY to Erica Wood form the Red cross blood service for coming into uni today (24/07/07) to inform us on the many facets of blood transfusion!

Great site which we used for info on how to sign up and get information about the service.

Australians seem to be more generous than Americans with their blood donations. It amazes me that one would need an appointment to donate blood. In the US there is often a critical shortage of blood and donors and the Red Cross has to beg and plead for people to donate blood. Very often the bloodmobile is parked on Lincoln Road in South beach hoping for passers by to come in and donate. When I was in school some of my classmates were motivated to donate blood so that they could get drunk faster that night with fewer drinks.

@ Martin – thanks for that – timely info!

@ Jed – have any of those former classmates gone on to become Darwin Award winners??

We used to have the Blood Bank come to our work (we had a big room in the basement) so everyone in the government, who worked nearby could come and donate blood. They usually did it for 2 or 3 days (in a row) and did it twice a year.
Now we have been privatized and we will never have that privelege (sp?) of doing that again! :( :( :(
j :)

Comments are closed.