BY NATASHA SCHAPOVA
For the challenge, universities competed in four categories: the highest number of donations, most new donors, most plasma donations and highest year-on-year growth.
The aim of this challenge is to ensure there are vast blood supplies available so, when needed, patients are able to undergo blood transfusions quickly.
Mother of seven-week-old Natasha, Katerina Annels, only survived childbirth because of a blood transfusion.
“I had a 2.5 litre haemorrhage during delivery and without the blood transfusion I would have died,” Ms Annels said.
“We had a 40-hour labour and afterwards my uterus didn’t contract properly, so I was bleeding out.
“When we announced her birth, we actually requested our friends who were considering donating (blood) to do so because, for us to have survived, we needed several blood transfusions."
Ms Annels said the challenge was a great idea because it encouraged young people to get involved and engaged with donations.
Queensland's James Cook University bagged the first place with the highest number of total donations in this year’s challenge.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood spokesperson Erin Lagoudakis said the challenge was aimed at recruiting new blood donors for the long term.
“It’s important we continually recruit new blood donors,” Ms Lagoudakis said.
”University students are the next generation of donors, it’s hoped they’ll continue to donate no matter where life takes them.
Monash University student Neraj Galagedara donated blood and plasma through the challenge for the first time this year.
“It really makes a difference and I know it can save lives,” Mr Galagedara said.
“The challenge just puts a little competition into it, which makes it fun and gives people the push and incentive to donate.”
Statistics from the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood reveal one in three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime and one in 30 Australians give blood each year.
The challenge, which started in March and ran until May 31, collected a total of 18,120 donations.