New Delhi: The World Blood Donor Day is celebrated around the world every year on 14 June to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
World Health Organisation (WHO), in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations (FIODS) and the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) sponsors World Blood Donor Day.
The slogan of this year’s campaign is “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life”. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2018 is Greece, through the Hellenic National Blood Centre.
Millions of lives are saved every year by transfusion of blood and blood products in patients suffering from life-threatening conditions and during complex medical and surgical procedures.
It also has an important, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters. An adequate supply of blood and blood products can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
Voluntary, unpaid blood donors from low-risk populations are the safest blood donors and these donors can maintain a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products. A person can donate blood either in a licensed blood bank, blood donation camps or at a bloodmobile.
Facts on blood donation/ transfusion:
- Around 112.5 million units of donated blood are collected globally every year, however, many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood and blood products.
- Voluntary unpaid blood donors are the foundation of a safe, sustainable blood supply and account for 100% of blood supplies in 62 countries.
- Voluntary unpaid blood donors are the safest group of donors because the prevalence of blood-borne infections is lowest among them.
- Often transfusions are prescribed when simple and safe alternative treatments might be equally effective. An unnecessary transfusion exposes patients to the risk of infections such as HIV and hepatitis and adverse transfusion reactions.
- The shelf- life of donated blood is 35 to 42 days; hence there is constant need to replenish stocks in the blood banks.
- Healthy donors are between the age of 18 to 65 years.
- A single unit of blood separating into its various components can benefit several patients.
- All donated blood should always be screened for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis prior to transfusion.
National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) is the central body to promote voluntary blood donation, ensure safe blood transfusion, provide infrastructure to blood centres, develop human resource and formulate and implement the blood policy in India. (naco.gov.in/)
eRaktKosh is an initiative to connect, digitize and streamline the workflow of blood banks across the nation. Details about blood availability, nearby blood banks, camp schedule, and registration for blood donation can be seen at eraktkosh.in.
However, India is one of the many countries suffering from severe blood shortage. Every second, people around the world of all ages need a blood transfusion to survive.
According to an official data India fell short of 1.9 million units of blood in 2016-17–equivalent to 60 tankers–that could have aided more than 320,000 heart surgeries or 49,000 organ transplants. The data revealed that this is an increase from a shortage of 1.1 million units or 35 tankers in 2015-16 when India had fallen 9% short of its 12 million targets.
India collected 11.1 million units of blood in 2016-17, meeting 85% of its 13 million units target based on WHO norms.