World Blood Donor Day takes place on 14 June each year. The Day was created to:
- raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion;
- highlight the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems;
- support national blood transfusion services, blood donor organizations and other nongovernmental organizations in strengthening and expanding their voluntary blood donor programmes by reinforcing national and local campaigns.
The day also provides an opportunity to call to action governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, unpaid blood donors and to manage access to blood and the transfusion of those who require it.
Blood and blood products are essential resources for effective management of women suffering from bleeding associated with pregnancy and childbirth; children suffering from severe anaemia due to malaria and malnutrition; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions; victims of trauma, emergencies, disasters and accidents; as well as patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures. The need for blood is universal, but access to blood for all those who need it is not. Blood shortages are particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries.
To ensure that everyone who needs transfusion has access to safe blood, all countries need voluntary, unpaid blood donors who give blood regularly. An effective blood donor programme, characterized by wide and active participation of the population, is crucial in meeting the need of blood transfusion during peace time as well as during emergencies or disasters, when there is a surge in demand for blood or when the normal operation of blood services is affected. While an enabling social and cultural atmosphere with strong solidarity facilitates development of an effective blood donor programme, it is also widely acknowledged that the act of blood donation contributes to generating social ties and building a united community.
Focus of this year’s campaign
For 2022, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives” to draw attention to the roles that voluntary blood donations play in saving lives and enhancing solidarity within communities.
The specific objectives of this year’s campaign are to:
- thank blood donors in the world and create wider public awareness of the need for regular, unpaid blood donation;
- highlight the need for committed, year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion;
- recognize and promote the values of voluntary unpaid blood donation in enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion;
- raise awareness of the need for increased investment from governments to build a sustainable and resilient national blood system and increase collection from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors.
A particular activity that countries in the world are encouraged to implement for this year’s campaign is to disseminate to various media outlets stories of people whose lives have been saved through blood donation as a way of motivating regular blood donors to continue giving blood, and to motivate people in good health who have never given blood to begin doing so.
Other activities that would help promote the slogan of this year’s World Blood Donor Day may include donor appreciation ceremonies, social networking campaigns, special media broadcasts, social media posts featuring individual blood donors with the slogan, meetings and workshops, musical and artistic events to thank blood donors and celebrate solidarity, and colouring iconic monuments red.
Your involvement and support will help to ensure greater impact for World Blood Donor Day 2022, increasing recognition worldwide that giving blood is a life-saving act of solidarity and that services providing safe blood and blood products are an essential element of every health care system. Participation of interested partners is welcome at all levels to make World Blood Donor Day 2022 a global success.
BY THE NUMBERS
Every 2 seconds – the frequency of someone in the U.S. requiring blood.
10 pints – the amount of blood in the average adult.
42 days – the shelf life of red blood cells.
10–15 mins – the time it takes to donate blood.
56 days – the minimum necessary waiting period between whole blood donations.
1 million – the number of people diagnosed with cancer every year.
38,000 – the number of blood donations needed every day.
38% – the percentage of the American population that is eligible to give blood.
2% – the percentage of people in America who actually donate.
90 minutes – the time it takes to donate platelets.
HOW TO OBSERVE WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY
If you’re eligible to donate blood, you only need to dedicate about an hour of your day to this live-saving process. Once you arrive for your donation and check in, you’ll be given a mini-physical to make sure that you’re healthy enough to donate blood. The actual blood donation process only takes a little over ten minutes—typically, they take about one pint of blood per person. Once you’ve finished, they’ll give you some refreshments (read: free snacks!) to make sure you’re ready to get back to your normal life.
Spread the word
If you either can’t donate blood or can’t find the time, spreading the word about the importance of World Blood Donor Day can be hugely impactful. Tell your friends, family, colleagues, and social media followers how important blood donations are. Many people are unaware of how easy the process is, so word-of-mouth is incredibly helpful in inspiring future blood donors.
Find an event near you
Look online to see if there are any special events in your area, such as rallies or pop-up donation sites, to celebrate World Blood Donor Day. Many blood centers, hospitals, and volunteers set up special, fun events on June 14th to celebrate the holiday and maximize blood donations. Again: there’s a very good chance of free snacks.
5 FACTS ABOUT BLOOD
There are eight blood types
They are A, B, AB and O, and they come in either positive or negative Rh Factor
Able to give to all
People with Type O negative blood are universal donors with blood that can be used by anyone.
A common occurrence
About 4.5 million Americans receive blood transfusions each year.
An average adult has about 10 – 12 pints of blood in his or her body.
Blood is made of four elements
It’s divided into red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, all floating in plasma.
WHY WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY IS IMPORTANT
It saves lives
Before blood transfusions became a regular medical practice, lives were regularly lost as a result of an inadequate blood supply. Blood donations end up supporting a wide variety of medical needs, from pre-planned, minor procedures to emergency surgeries. Blood transfusions are an important part of the planned treatment of cancer patients or expecting mothers, as well as vital in case of disasters or car crashes.
There’s always a need for more blood donations
Donating blood is a quick, easy, and incredibly safe process, but only a small subsection of the population are regular blood donors. Out of the people who are considered “eligible” to donate blood, only about 10 percent choose to do so. Because blood donation is an entirely voluntary process, World Blood Donor Day is an important reminder of how there can never be such a thing as “too many blood donations.” In the United States alone, someone needs blood every two seconds!
It’s a global issue
Having an adequate blood supply is, obviously, necessary in every country on earth. Right now, many developed countries are able to rely on voluntary, unpaid blood donations to meet 100% of their blood supply needs. But finding those volunteers and making sure the blood is safe is still a big issue in developing countries, and they often have to rely on either family or paid donations. The WHO is working hard to ensure that, in the near future, blood donations all over the world will be entirely unpaid and voluntary.
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