Bus driver saves thousands of lives

Frankston bus driver, Alan Craig, has helped save the lives of thousands of babies, simply by giving blood.

MORE INFO: How to donate blood

MORE INFO: How to donate blood

When Alan isn't working, he's probably donating his blood which is used specifically to save babies, like four-day-old Charlize, who he met today.

Every fortnight Alan donates O-negative blood and plasma which is sent to a laboratory where scientists extract the life-saving anti-D component.

Anti-D is given to women during their pregnancy when their blood group doesn't match their baby's.

“If you go before the days of blood donors providing anti D it was a major problem for babies and could cause still birth," Dr Len Klinman from Epworth Freemasons Maternity unit.

Only 200 Australian donors are involved in the anti-D program, Alan is one of 35 donors able to participate.

About 15 percent of all Australian mothers will need anti-D injections during their pregnancies, which means the precious anti-D donations save about 50,000 babies every year.

Today is Alan's 446 blood donation. He says it’s become part of his life now.

“You're a special kind of person doing that aren’t you?" his mum asks.

The blood service needs an extra 25,000 donors of all types to keep supplies up during the Christmas-New Year period.

To find out how to donate blood please visit the Australian Red Cross Blood Service or call 131495.

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