REGION – As a young soldier in Vietnam, Port Elliot’s Geoff Mudge witnessed first hand as blood transfusions saved the lives of his injured mates.
Geoff served six months with the Third Infantry Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), with some of his fellow soldiers saved by blood transfusions, having lost blood through injury.
After returning from Vietnam Geoff began donating blood at the age of 22, and has since made an incredible 151 donations, which have saved 453 lives.
Now 70, he is one of the most prolific donors on the south coast and urges others to donate when the Red Cross Blood Service visits Victor Harbor from October 25-28.
He said the Vietnam experience motivated him to give blood.
“I’d been in Vietnam and a couple of my mates got injured and I saw the need for blood then and there,” Geoff said. “It’s nothing for me to give blood.
“I saw the need for blood and it didn’t seem a big deal to be able to give it.
“There is little effort required to give blood and the benefits to be achieved are far greater.”
Geoff is a Type A – one of the most common blood types and as a result is always needed with 38 per cent of Australians having Type A blood.
Geoff will donate plasma when the mobile service visits Victor Harbor.
“I try to donate every three months and I always come out of there feeling good,” he said.
Red Cross Blood Service’s spring visit to Victor Harbor
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is calling on residents in the Victor Harbor region to find out their blood type while the Mobile Blood Donor Centre visits from October 25 to 28.
The Blood Service will also be conducting free blood type testing on October 25 from 11am to about 3pm in Victor Central Shopping Centre, on Torrens St, Victor Harbor.
“Less than 50 per cent of Australians know what their blood type is,” said Blood Service spokeswoman Rebecca DiGirolamo.
“There are eight different blood types, with O and A type being the most common and therefore in greatest need by patients,” she said.
“AB is the universal blood type for plasma, meaning it can be given to any patient, regardless of their blood type.
“O Negative the universal type for blood. Nine per cent of Australians have O negative blood but 14 per cent of Aussies use it.
“One in every three Australians will need blood in their lifetime so it’s a great opportunity for people living in and around Victor Harbor to find out how their blood type can help save lives.”
The Mobile Blood Donor Centre will be located at the Lutheran Church, 21 Adelaide Rd, Victor Harbor from October 25 to 28.
To make an appointment to donate blood call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.