Millions of lives around the world are saved each year by safe blood transfusion and blood products. Since 2005, the world celebrates “World Blood Donor Day” (WBDD) to raise awareness for regular blood donations to keep the healthcare industry maintain a stable supply, to celebrate the hard work of medical professionals, and to thank donors for the valuable gift of life. This day marks the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner
(received Nobel Prize for his discovery of the ABO blood group system).
Blood is an important esource, both for planned complex medical and surgical procedures, and urgent life-threatening conditions (natural disasters, accidents, armed conflicts, etc.). Safe blood availability can reduce the death rate and disability due to blood loss. It can help improve the quality of life in patients suffering from life- threatening conditions. Blood has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal
care. Thus, a blood safe and adequate supply and service is a key component of an effective healthcare system.
However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while ensuring its quality and safety. The regular supply of safe blood can only be achieved through regular voluntary blood donations. WBDD celebration calls for blood donation with their slogans like: “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life” in 2019; “Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often” in 2017; “Blood connects us all”
in 2016; and “Thank you for saving my life” in 2015. WBDD inspires more people all over the world to donate blood voluntarily and regularly.
The life-saving blood donation has added benefits to the donor by helping them stay healthy by developing new red blood cells, reducing risk of heart disease by reducing the built up iron levels in blood, and burning calories (650 calories/ 450 ml of blood).
Few factors are necessary to be kept in mind while donating blood: Age (between 18 years and 60 years of age), hemoglobin (>12.5 g/dl), healthy weight (>45 kgs), normal body temperature at the time of donation, and a minimum of 3 months gap between 2 donations. You are advised to drink lots of water before the donation. Also, keep in mind that you should take a well-balanced meal prior to and after donating blood.
WBDD, however, doesn’t just focus on getting volunteers to donate. It also works to improve methods of collection and delivery. It emphasizes on the importance of why medics should focus on hygiene, blood type, and history of donor in this complex process of blood transfusion. Thus, WBDD celebrates the hard work medical professionals and recognizes their efforts into developing a life-saving technology.
The best way to celebrate WBDD is to go out and give blood and save lives! And if you can’t give blood for some reason, that shouldn’t prevent you from taking part in this life celebration. You can make a massive impact by updating your social media profile pictures to celebrate the event. You could also go out canvassing on behalf of your local blood donation group. Just remember that “Blood connects us all”.