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13 Sep 2017


Medical students around Australia are participating in one of the country’s biggest blood drives. President of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, Rob Thomas states: “Our annual drive, affectionately known as the Vampire Cup, is a time students can roll up their sleeves and really save some lives”.

“Since its inception in 2008, Vampire Cup has established a healthy competition between the 21 medical schools, with a strong emphasis on recruiting first time donors. In 2016, together with our NZ counterparts we had more than 2,500 donations, with almost 500 people donating for the first time.

“It’s great to see so many students getting on board with this important cause. There is currently a national shortage of O negative blood, but all blood types are useful and can save up to 3 lives with each donation.

“Unfortunately, many people are unable to donate blood due to several reasons, most notably those in the men who have sex with men (MSM) category. AMSA supports evidence-based donation deferral times, noting the recent changes to the MSM category in the UK from 12 months to 3,” Mr Thomas said.

“Our blood drive encourages those who can’t donate to get their family and friends to donate on their behalf, which is a great way of involving everyone in this worthwhile project.

“This year some students have also signed up to the bone marrow donor registry when donating blood and have had the chance to save even more lives.  We’re pleased to have had six universities participate in a pilot saliva kit trial, where a saliva sample rather than blood sample was collected from students. This is an easier way to sign up to the registry that is not otherwise currently available in Australia.”

AMSA’s National Blood Drive, Vampire Cup, will wrap up after eight weeks this Sunday, September 17.


Media Contact: Isabella Gosper


Phone: 0416 816 830


Photos available upon request.

Published: 13 Sep 2017