Major donor . . . Phyllis Gray has donated blood 81 times. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

Phyllis Gray is a bloody good sort.

Over the past 30 years, Mrs Gray has donated blood 81 times and she is about to do it again at the New Zealand Blood Service’s drive in Oamaru next week.

It was just something she felt she should do to help others — and luckily, she did not mind needles.

‘‘It’s just a small prick and over and done with [quickly], and they look after you very well,’’ she said.

Mrs Gray had the most common blood type, O-positive.

‘‘But that’s probably what they need the most of.’’

She enjoyed knowing she was helping someone by donating.

The process of attending a drive, having a quick medical screening, giving blood and having a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit took no longer than an hour.

She encouraged people to get out and donate blood.

‘‘You never know, one day they might need it themselves.’’

New Zealand Blood Service donor relations co-ordinator Lynn Rodeka said the need for blood was constant.

Each year, 29,000 patients were treated with blood in New Zealand.

Less than 4% of New Zealanders donated blood. Up to three lives could be saved from each donation, she said.

The service was the sole provider of blood products to hospitals in New Zealand and need 4000 donations each week to meet those needs, Ms Rodeka said.

Many of the service’s ‘‘mobile blood drives’’ had been cancelled or postponed because of lockdowns.

A mobile drive would be held at the Oamaru Club in Severn St from November 9 to 11.

‘‘Our donation targets are based on the needs from the hospitals and our bookings are lighter on the Wednesday and Thursday of this mobile so far,’’ she said.

‘‘It would be a shame to be under target for this mobile collection unless more people sign up to donate.’’

People could book an appointment to give blood on the service’s website at or call 0800 448 -325.

Who needs it?

People who receive blood donations include:

  • Cancer patients: 26%
  • Accident victims: 20%
  • People with liver, kidney and heart disease: 12%
  • Pregnant women & babies: 6%
  • Bone surgery patients: 5%
  • Children including those with cancer: 3%
  • Other medical confirmation and surgical treatments: 28%