FREMANTLE has lost its thirst for giving blood.
The Red Cross says the port city has gone from having some of WA’s most generous veins to its stingiest.
Media flak Jess Willet told the Herald just 110 donors have signed up to give blood, plasma and platelets over the Easter long weekend (a time when we celebrate self-sacrifice for others).
Fremantle Hospital, where the Red Cross is based, needs the blood of at least 340 donors to meet demand.
“It’s strange, because Fremantle is usually good—one of the best in the metro area,” Ms Willet says.
The Chook hit the streets and email.
Mayor Brad Pettitt has been a regular donor, “even though my veins are apparently extraordinarily hard to find” but as he’d travelled to Cambodia and Chile he was told to wait before donating again. “I will book in just before my next trip,” he told the Herald.
Real estate exec Emma Powell says she’s banned from donating because she lived in the UK for six months between 1980 and 1996. The “daft” ban is because of fears of mad cow disease, even though no cases exist of transmission. “If you were on the slab and needed blood would you turn down UK blood that had been screened for all of the real (not imagined/potential) diseases?” she asked. Her father is a gold donor in the UK and she’s disappointed she can’t act as a role model for friends.
Cr Sullivan is out for the same reason but says he would if he could and wishes more did. “Clearly our society generally is becoming more and more self-centred and less interested in outcomes that benefit society generally,” he told the Herald. “We have also become so risk-adverse that even the process of giving seems bureaucratically challenged.”
Political academic Martin Drum admits he’s never donated, saying a childhood bout of rheumatic fever led to a horrifying regime of blood tests that’s given him a needle phobia. He says low donations are probably linked to awareness, so now he’s been pricked by the Herald, “perhaps I will summon up the courage to do so soon”.
Fremantle Society president Roel Loopers is registered as an organ donor but doesn’t give blood. “No idea why so I’ll need to change it,” he said.
A local artist who wanted to remain anonymous says she was black-banned for having a bisexual lover who hadn’t been tested, so she’s got the shits up with the Red Cross and hasn’t been back.
by STEVE GRANT