Bloodbikes Australia is playing an integral part in transporting COVID-19 tests from suburban testing centres to medical laboratories.
Founder Peter Davis says they recently extended their free service offers from delivering blood to other medical products including breast milk.
However, they are currently being primarily deployed to take COVID-19 tests to medical laboratories.
“Our first runs of COVID samples started with our Sydney volunteer, Richard Alder, for St Vincents,” Peter says.
“It involved delivering consumables, label bags etc, picking up samples from the temporary testing stations and getting it to St Vincent’s Sydney laboratory for analysis.”
Tests ramped up
Two Bloodbikes Australia Brisbane volunteers have now stepped into the breach for Mater Pathology as thousands of residents of southern Brisbane and Logan City have queued up for hours to be tested following a new outbreak.
“Given the increased testing and the temporary, drive-through testing stations, the Mater Pathology couriers just couldn’t cover all the runs,” Peter says.
“Rather than delay analysis and results they called on Bloodbikes Australia, which is exactly our charter to fill in when all else fails.”
Peter has run samples from Metro Medical Centre Springfield Lakes and fellow volunteer Nick Carrigan has taken samples from a temporary testing centre in Cleveland.
Both are delivering the tests to the Mater Laboratory at Mater Hill in South Brisbane.
“It was so great to feel like you’re helping in the COVID fight rather than being an observer,” says Nick.
Peter says the Canberra Bloodbikes Australia Volunteers may soon be doing test runs for the Canberra Hospital.
He called on people in medical services to contact him about providing services.
He says volunteers can contact the Bloodbikes Australia Facebook as demand for their services ramps up with the second wave of coronavirus infections.
Volunteers can also email Peter Davis on [email protected]
Peter recently rode to NSW and the ACT recently to visit volunteers before borders started closing down.
He says they now have 87 volunteers Australia wide on the NSW Central Coast, Sydney, Canberra. Western NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
Bloodbikes started in Manchester, UK in 2011 and Peter launched Bloodbikes Australia in September 2019.
Volunteers make deliveries when all other methods have been exhausted and time is critical.
“It was started because there were circumstances when a motorcycles can be a lot faster than a car in making urgent deliveries of blood to where it is required,” Peter says.
Blood he has delivered has been used in surgery as well as transfusions for cancer patients.
“Bloodbikes Australia is entirely voluntary. We volunteer our time, fuel and motorcycles,” Peter says.
“We are not an emergency service and abide by all the road rules and speed limits. We are not police or ambulance ‘wannabes’.
“We are just motorcycle enthusiasts who want to make our passion for riding available to do some good in the community.”
As an essential medical service, urgent deliveries would also be exempt from any travel restrictions during the current pandemic.