Cessnock man hoping to break world record for whole blood donations

Cessnock resident Phil Baird could soon see his name in the Guinness Book of World Records for most whole blood donations.

Mr. Baird donated blood for the 231st time at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Donormobile on Christmas Eve, and will be sending off the paperwork to England today in the hope of making his record official.

As of December 11, Guinness World Records confirmed that the current world record holder is Robert Hall from New Zealand, who has made 177 donations.

Mr. Baird made his 228th whole blood donation in April this year, believed to be a world record at the time, but this effort not able to be accepted by Guinness World Records because the system employed was to include all types of blood donors under the banner of just “Blood Donations”.

After Mr. Baird explained the difference between whole blood donations and apheresis (plasma and platelet removal), Guinness World Records has created a new category for “Whole Blood Donations”.

“Over a considerable period of time I explained to GWR that there were two major differences in blood donations,” Mr. Baird said.

“One is apheresis, which is when a small amount of blood is taken from the donor and processed through a machine that extracts valuable plasma and platelets. The blood is then transferred back into the body of the donor.

“Because there is only minimal blood loss, an aphaeresis donor can donate every two weeks if they wish, as there is no fear of anaemia.

“The other type of blood donor is a whole blood donor, who gives 450mls of blood each time they donate. Consequently a whole blood donor can only donate once every twelve or thirteen weeks (approximately four times a year). If they donated more frequently they could suffer from anaemia.”

Mr. Baird, 75, made his first blood donation at 19 years old when he enlisted with the National Service, and was named Cessnock City Citizen of the Year in 2009.
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