Cairns QueenslandEFFINCUEfar north Queensland


There’s an old Australian expression used when we talk about a really good person. We say “your blood’s worth bottling”. We can say that about lots of our fellow far north Queenslanders. And if we did, in fact. bottle their blood, we’d see that it’s red. Right?

Surprisingly, the answer is “not always”. The people at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in Cairns tell me there’s a part of our blood called plasma. When you separate plasma from blood, what you get is definitely not red. It’s the colour of one of those passion-fruit fizzy drinks. Yellow. Some prefer to say it’s the colour of a very fine pale ale.

Plasma is a real life-saver and it’s always in demand. It takes a bit longer to donate plasma than whole blood, but you can donate more often – every couple of weeks.

One in three of us will need a blood product at some stage of our lives, but only one in 30 is a blood donor. Most donated blood goes to people with cancer and blood diseases. Plasma can make 17 different products that help wound healing and clotting. And you can donate platelets, which help people on chemotherapy or who have leukaemia.

Blood donations do slow down during Xmas holidays, but the demand for blood products doesn’t drop – it’s often higher during the holiday season. The Cairns Blood Donor Centre has done pretty well over Xmas, meeting its whole blood targets. But they need more plasma donors. Right now!

Listen to Sandy Holmes explain the different types of blood donation, and the many life-saving uses your blood could have here in FNQ.


If you want to donate blood call 131495 or go to

The Cairns Donor Centre is on Sheridan St North Cairns, part of the new Queensland Health facility. Good to contact them first, but if you want to just turn up, Thursdays and Fridays are best. And the Friday after Australia Day would be a good choice for an appointment. There’s a sort of long-weekend there, but the Donor Centre will be open on the Friday.

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