No matter how you look at it, blood is a crucial part of our survival and, by extension, the healthcare system. It’s also one of the most vital and most-needed components in medicine, with statistics showing that one in three men will require blood in their lifetime. The stark reality, however, is that only one in 30 men actively donate blood. This November, it’s time to change those figures.
For years now, the month of November has been dubbed Movember by moustache enthusiasts, with the act of growing a ‘tache throughout the month being linked to initiatives to raise awareness for men’s health issues.
This year, Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is joining forces with the global Movember initiative for their True Colours campaign, to encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves and donate blood to support men’s health.
But why do we need such a pairing of these two initiatives? Haven’t blood donations been going on for quite some time? Surely we’ve got plenty in reserve, right?
Well, not quite. The need for blood never stops and with a shelf life of only 42 days, they always need more, Plus, for a lot of the last decade, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown that when it comes to the top 20 leading causes of death for men in Australia, three of the top four include the likes of heart disease, lung and throat cancers, and blood clots (including strokes).
If you’ve got a bit of knowledge on the medical side of things, you’ll likely know that all of these aforementioned issues can require blood products during treatment. The issue there is that while roughly a third of men will require blood in their lifetime, only one in 30 will donate blood.
Put simply; 33% of folks will need blood, but only 3% are giving blood, and that’s a gap we need to bridge.
As it stands, just one blood donation can save up to three lives, with 34% of donated red blood cells going to fight cancer and blood diseases, 19% towards anaemia and other needs, and 18% towards heart, organ, and other non-orthopaedic surgeries. 13% goes towards stomach, kidney, and other diseases, 10% towards fractures and joint replacements, 4% helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children, and the remaining 2% goes to help those involved in road incidents and other traumas.
To put it simply once again, blood donations are vital. Australia needs more than 1.7 million donations every year just to meet demand. To break down the maths for you, that’s four every single minute.
The Lifeblood website is also filled with stories of those who have found themselves needing blood donations and relying upon the countless donors in Australia, including the likes of Miriam Stannard, whose young family have received over 100 donations collectively across the last year, and citing the generosity of donors as the reason for their survival.
So the question is, what can you do to help? Well, this year, the Lifeblood and Movember partnership is designed to inspire men to roll up their sleeves, donate some life-saving blood, and help out everyone who might need blood.
20 years ago, Movember was founded by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery. Two decades on, it’s turned into the world’s leading men’s health charity, raising over a billion dollars for groundbreaking medical research and supporting over 1,250 men’s health programs.
This year, Garone is taking an active role in Lifeblood, even designing the special True Colours bandage. The design incorporates the Movember ‘Mo’ depicted as hands joined together to represent Brothers in Arms. Those who sign up to donate blood throughout the month of November will receive one of the special bandages upon completion of their donation.
As Garone explains, “the ultimate outcome from this partnership between Movember and Lifeblood is to help people.
“Movember’s purpose in life is to confront, challenge, and change men’s health to save more lives. That’s exactly what happens when you give blood, and you donate blood; you’re helping others, you’re helping people who need it.”
If you’re unable to give blood, you can also help out by simply growing a mo for Movember, thus sporting the symbol that sparks conversation and encourages others to take part. Sign up to Movember to show your support. Can’t grow a mo? That’s okay as well! Sign up to Move for Movember to take part in the much-needed change another way.
This Movember, roll up your sleeves for men’s health. Search Lifeblood to book a donation today, and help make a difference in the lives of those who need it.