Each year June 14th is celebrated as World Blood Donor Day with aim to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood products for transfusion and by voluntary contribution, In 2021, World Blood Donor Day slogan is “Give blood and keep the world beating”, It is pertinent to note that donors throughout the world have donated blood and plasma during COVID-19 pandemic.
Benefits for Blood Donors:
Blood donors also enjoy many health benefits. Helping others reduce stress, improve mental and physical well-being and health, reduce a sense of isolation, and eliminate negative feelings. Medical News Today references a study that blood donation offers a protective effect of long-term against cardiovascular disease. and improved blood pressure readings.
As per American Red Cross, one donation can save as many as three lives, and someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.
Types of Blood Donation:
There are four types of blood donation: whole blood, platelets, automated red cells and plasma. Components are separated and given to patients depending on their requirements.
Whole Blood: The most common type of donation, which can be made by all blood types. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. It can be given in its original form or separated into its components – red cells, plasma and platelets. Trauma patients and people undergoing surgery may require whole blood.
Platelets: Platelets help to prevent bleeding. It is given to patients having surgery, organ transplants, cancer, and life threatening injuries. Shelf life of platelets is 5 days and donor can donate every 7 days, maximum 24 times a year.
Automated Red Cells: It separates the donor’s red blood cells by an automated process. Plasma and platelets are returned to the donor. Trauma patients, patients having severe blood loss, newborns, emergency transfusions during birth, and sickle cell anemia patients. require this type of blood donation. Donor can donate every 112 days, maximum 3 times a year.
Plasma: Plasma transports water and nutrients to the body’s tissues and is used to treat patients in emergency situations to stop bleeding. Donor can donate every 28 days, maximum 13 times/year.
Role of WHO:
WHO announced objectives of the 2021 Blood Donor Day campaign are:
thank blood donors in the world and create wider public awareness of the need for regular, unpaid blood donation;
promote the community values of blood donation in enhancing community solidarity and social cohesion;
encourage youth to embrace the humanitarian call to donate blood and inspire others to do the same;
celebrate the potential of youth as partners in promoting health.
According to WHO, blood safety is:
collecting safer donations from low-risk blood donors
testing all blood for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other transfusion-transmissible infections before transfusion
minimizing unnecessary blood transfusions