When it comes to life-saving stores of blood — every drop counts. But with a limited shelf-life, unused blood has to be thrown out once it reaches its expiry date. With that in mind, PathWest Haematology developed a system to better monitor blood inventory, meaning the blood nearing its use-by date can be transported to patients first. Since the new initiative was introduced in May last year, 940 units of blood have been saved — amounting to a significant reduction in waste and a cost saving of about $336,000. The group that came up with the idea have been recognised for excellence in sustainability in the WA Health Excellence Awards announced on Thursday night. They were among 11 healthcare workers, teams and projects from across WA’s public health system recognised in the awards. PathWest head of microbiology and infectious disease physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital David Speers was given the Minister for Health’s Award for his leadership and commitment to community health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 7News Health Hero Award was presented to Perth Children’s Hospital senior pharmacist Allan Jones. Speaking to The West Australian last month, Mr Jones, 81, who has had a 55-year career in WA’s health system, said he believes it is the parents and children he helps every day who are the “real heroes”.