World Blood Donor Day 2016: Blood Connects Us All; Share Life, Give Blood

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The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on the 14th of June every year.
On this day, the World Health Organization increases awareness about the necessity of blood donation for blood transfusion.
Voluntary, non-paid blood donation is the safest type of blood donation.
World Blood Donor Day History
World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year by the people in many countries around the world on 14th of June. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on the day of birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner on 14th of June in 1868. This event celebration was first started in the year 2004 aiming to raise the public awareness about the need for safe blood donation (including its products) voluntarily and unpaid by the healthy person. Blood donors are the key role player at this day as they donate life-saving gifts of blood to the needed person.
It was first initiated and established to be celebrated annually on 14th of June by “the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies” in the year 2004. World Blood Donor Day was officially established by the WHO with its 192 Member States in the month of May in 2005 at the 58th World Health Assembly in order to motivate all the countries worldwide to thank the blood donors for their precious step, promote voluntary, safe and unpaid blood donations to ensure the sufficient blood supplies.
World Blood Donor Day celebration brings a precious opportunity to all donors for celebrating it on national and global level as well as to commemorate the birthday anniversary of the Karl Landsteiner (a great scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his great discovery of the ABO blood group system).
The theme for this year’s blood donation day is Blood Connects Us All and the slogan is Share Life, Give Blood. With the theme, the WHO hopes that people will feel the connection with others through sharing the gift of blood. It also hopes that those who regularly donate blood will continue to do so, while those who haven’t given as yet will make a start.
On World Blood Donor Day, people with a rare blood group called the Bombay Blood Group require a special mention. There are only a few hundreds of people among one billion Indians with this blood group. Yet, these individuals have always come forward to help one another at times when any of them needed a blood transfusion, despite the fact that they may not even know the recipient personally.
On World Blood Donor Day, IBTimes UK presents the reasons to why giving blood is so important.
Different blood groups and rare blood types
More than 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients in need across England alone – and around 200,000 new donors are needed every year, as some donors can no longer give blood.
In particular, the NHS needs more people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities to give blood so there is a supply of certain blood types. People requiring regular blood transfusions need blood from donors with a similar ethnic background, to provide the best match and give better outcomes in the long term.
People from South Asian and Black communities are more likely to have rarer blood types and conditions, such as Thalassaemia or Sickle Cell Disease respectively, which require regular blood transfusions.
“While we need donors across all blood groups to donate, we now need greater numbers of certain blood groups, in particular we need more donations from black and South Asian communities,” says Mike Stredder, director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant.
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“Some rarer groups, such as Ro, O negative (the universal blood group), A negative and B negative are more vulnerable to shortfalls. So we want people with those blood groups to donate as regularly as they can, and now they’ll be told when their donation has gone to a hospital to help patients.”
Different conditions
The main components are red cells, plasma and platelets – which are used to treat different conditions and illnesses. As they have a short shelf life, more blood is needed to top up supplies: red blood cells are stored for up to 35 days, while plasma is stored for a year and platelets for up to a week.
Generally, you can give blood if you are fit, healthy, weigh over 50kg (110lbs) and are aged between 17 and 66. You can donate blood up to the age of 70 if you have given blood in the previous two years.
We often hear the phrase, donate blood and save a life. However, like for many other pieces of advice that we are routinely exposed to, we listen, appreciate and forget.
Blood is a vital fluid of the body that is produced by the body itself. It contains red blood cells, which carry oxygen, white blood cells, which fight infection, and platelets, which prevent bleeding. The body cannot replace a sudden loss of blood due to accidents, major surgeries, childbirth or other similar situations. Under such circumstances, a blood transfusion is needed. Disease conditions may reduce a type of blood cells, which have to be replaced. For this purpose, the cells from donated blood are separated and the required type of cells are infused to the patient. Some blood products consist of plasma, the fluid part of the blood, or certain clotting factors which are administered in patients with bleeding disorders. The importance of timing of blood transfusion cannot be underestimated – a slight delay could cost a life.
The World Health Organization is promoting blood transfusion with the aim that all countries should be self-sufficient to meet their individual requirements, and obtain these from voluntary unpaid donors by the year 2020. Many countries still depend on paid volunteers or family members to donate blood. The WHO encourages countries to put policies in place to meet the goal of being completely self-sufficient with respect to safe blood availability.
Facts About Blood Donation
Every year globally around 108 million units of donated blood are collected.
From 2004 – 2012 an increase of 8.6 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors reported.
Blood donation rate in:
High-income countries 36.8 donations per 1000 population
Middle-income countries 11.7 donations per 1000 population
Low-income countries 3.9 donations per 1000 population
World Blood Donor Day Theme
The theme of 2015 was “Thank you for saving my life”.
The theme of 2014 was “Safe blood for saving mothers”.
The theme of 2013 was “Give the gift of life: Donate blood.”
The theme of 2012 was “Every blood donor is a hero”.
The theme of 2011 was “More blood, more life”.
The theme of 2010 was “New Blood for the World”.
The theme of 2009 was “achieving 100 per cent non-remunerated donation of blood and blood components”.
The theme of 2008 was “Giving blood regularly”.
The theme of 2007 was “Safe Blood for Safe Motherhood”.
The theme of 2006 was “Commitment to Ensure Universal Access to Safe Blood”.
The theme of 2005 was “Celebrating your gift of blood”.
The theme of 2004 was “Blood Saves Lives. Safe Blood Starts With Me”.
World Blood Donor Day Quotes
“I owe my life to blood donors. I’m forever grateful to people who donate”. – Niki Taylor
“I’ve been involved with blood donation since the 1980s because there is a critical need”. – Donna Reed
“My goal is to spread the word about the need for more blood donors”. – Niki Taylor
References:
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs279/en/

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