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12 Jun 2018


Medical students around Australia have rolled up their sleeves in one of the largest blood-drives in the country, organised by the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) in conjunction with the Red Cross Blood Service. 


The national competition between universities has run over the past eight weeks, as blood stocks typically dwindle leading into the winter months. During this time medical students made 2739 blood donations. As each donation can save up to three lives, this equates to more than 8200 lives saved.  


James Cook University gathered the greatest raw number of donations (391), perhaps in part due to help from Bruce the Property Spruce. However, the Australian National University (ANU) scored the prize for the most donations per capita, as two-thirds of the entire cohort made a donation. 


ANU is one of the smaller medical schools, but it always punches well above its weight in the annual blood drives. In the past three years, ANU has consistently placed first out of 21 participating universities for the percentage of the cohort donating blood.


Dane Lyons, President of the ANU Medical Student Society, said: “I am very proud of ANU students who’ve rolled up their sleeves to save lives. This event shows that young future doctors are happy to lead in encouraging the public to donate blood regularly.  Medical students see the life-saving effects of blood donations every day, from saving lives in acute trauma situations, to the products made from the medical treatments derived from blood that are used to treat a range of chronic diseases,” Mr Lyons said.


AMSA President Ms Alex Farrell said: “The annual blood drive is an eight-week competition amongst universities, affectionately dubbed the ‘Vampire Cup’, as each medical school competes for the title of the most blood donations. 

“Australia needs more than 25,000 blood donations each week. Up to one in three people will need blood during their lifetime, but only one in 30 actually donates.

 “This year, we are also encouraging people who are unable to donate blood to DonateLife by joining the Australian Bone Marrow Registry or Australian Organ Donor Register,” Ms Farrell said.


The competition ran from 16th April-10th June, and National DonateLife Week will be held from 29th July- 5th August.


Case study

Dane Lyons

M: 0433 969 276



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Joel Selby

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Published: 12 Jun 2018