They’re giving thanks all around the world to a bloke called Karl Landsteiner this week, because heaven knows how many millions of lives he has saved.
He won the Nobel prize, his image is on an Austrian banknote, there are bronze busts and they were certainly celebrating him at the Tauranga Blood Service on Cameron Road this week.
Landsteiner was the Australian biologist, physician and immunologist who succeeded in identifying the three main blood groups, A, B and O. He’s the father of blood transfusions and the New Zealand Blood Service was built on the back of his discovery.
Blood transfusions replace blood lost during surgery or due to a serious injury. A transfusion may also be done when the body can't make blood properly because of illness.
Every year, New Zealand Blood Service celebrates World Blood Donor Day on June 14 - Landsteiner’s birthday - in each of its donor centres around the country.
It’s a thank you to the man and a thank you to 110,000 unsung heroes, the wonderful blood donors, around New Zealand. It’s also a call for more people to follow their lead.
On just one day this week, five staff from Qube Global software at Mount Maunganui each gave 470mls of blood, which goes towards the saving of 15 lives. And even though Tauranga has one of the highest return donor rates in the country, the Blood Service needs 125 whole blood donations and 100 plasma donations every week to reach its targets.
Blood Service Tauranga also wants to thank all of the business and community groups that are part of its Team Red programme, who give staff time off work every 3-6 months to donate.
To donate, contact the NZ Blood Service on: 0800 448 325 or visit: www.nzblood.co.nz for more information.