Transfusion medicine

Red Cross rebrands as it expands services

ARCBS name change The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has a new name to better represent the range of its services to the community.

Australian Red Cross Lifeblood chief executive Ms Shelly Park said the organisation was a world leader in blood safety and blood services remained its core focus. 

However it was increasingly involved in many more services. 

“We now provide safe, donated breastmilk to babies in newborn intensive care units across New South Wales and South Australia,” she said in a statement.

Lifeblood has also just announced it is expanding its milk bank services to provide donated breastmilk to premature babies at Townsville Hospital in Queensland.

As with its blood products, there are stringent processes in place to screen breast milk donors, collect, process and test the donated breast milk, and finally track and distribute the valuable resource. 

“We provide critical organ matching services allowing life-giving transplants to take place, and next year in Western Australia we are embarking on a pilot to provide a reliable supply of donated stool for faecal microbiota transplants to treat patients with life-threatening digestive system infections,” Ms Park said.

As part of the name change, Lifeblood has opened its doors to TV cameras for a new eight-part, behind-the-scenes, reality television series on Channel Nine. 

Giving Life looks at Lifeblood’s donor centres where 1.5 million donations are made each year. It will then follow the journey of blood products through to hospitals where patients receive them.

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