Blood bank off the table

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

An attempt to establish a blood bank service in Deniliquin has officially been rejected.

The Naponda Hospital Auxiliary has been lobbying for the service for a number of years, but last week received a formal notification from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service it would not proceed.

Naponda Auxiliary member Pam Ellerman said while it has been a disappointing outcome, the auxiliary understands the reasons.

‘‘Naponda put this up at the United Hospital Auxiliaries state conference as a resolution, and had great support.

‘‘We have recently taken up the mantle again, but unfortunately I think this is now the end.’’

In his formal reply, Australian Red Cross Blood Service NSW/ACT donor services manager Steven Eldridge said the region’s blood supply needs were already being met with the current level of donations, indicating that an extra blood bank is not required at this stage.

He also suggested the development of a Deniliquin service would be cost prohibitive.

‘‘Advancements in healthcare in our hospitals have seen a decline in the need for traditional red cell donations. Hospitals are better at determining when to use blood, leading to fewer transfusion-related complications for patients,’’ he said.

‘‘At the same time, doctors are finding more uses for other blood components, such as plasma — a component that is now used to make 18 different lifesaving medical treatments. Plasma can only be collected using special machines, nearly all of which are in our blood donor centres, and this change in demand has meant we must focus our resources on increasing plasma collections.

‘‘Patients are our priority, and as our existing mobile network is able to collect the red cells that are needed, there are no plans for expansion across New South Wales.

‘‘We truly appreciate the generosity of Deniliquin, and we are sorry that we can’t be everywhere. We realise that a trip from Deniliquin to one of our donor centres is a long way but when you are in the vicinity of centres such as Shepparton, Albury or Bendigo, consider popping in and donating as part of your trip, you will be so very welcome.’’