Champion donor says give blood

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Blood donor Cliff Watts.
Camera IconBlood donor Cliff Watts. Credit: Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Cliff Watts donated blood at Australian Red Cross for the 153rd time this week.

The Albany man has helped save over 450 people’s lives by donating more than 76 litres of his blood — or 15 times the amount of blood circulating in the average adult.

This week is National Blood Donor Week and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service is running low on donations in the thick of the cold and flu season.

Mr Watts first donated more than 30 years ago when his wife had their two sons via caesarean and he learnt about the importance of blood donations.

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“The benefits that you get as a person knowing that you are doing the right thing and helping people outweigh everything else,” he said.

“People might think that they are just run-of-the-mill people but they can be very important to the blood service. If their family hasn’t had any history of certain diseases they can donate multiple times.”

Mr Watts now donates plasma every two weeks. Whole blood donations take 20 minutes, while plasma takes about 40 minutes.

With donations being a quick process, he said that for those eligible, there is no reason not to donate.

“Apart from just giving the blood a lot of blokes don’t just take the time to keep an eye on their health,” he said. “This way your blood gets checked — your blood pressure, diseases and your haemoglobin — it all gets screened.”

“It is a nice little workforce up there, all the girls are friendly and happy and they make you feel good when you go inside.

“I have seen a lot of new donors come through and they are worried but honestly the needle doesn’t hurt.”

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is calling for more people to donate on a regular basis.

Eligibility can be checked online at www.donateblood.com.au/eligibility.

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