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Donating blood

In celebration of the World Blood Donor day, I remember I used to be very scared of needles and seeing my own blood being sucked out while growing up, I didn’t like the idea of donating blood but Recently, I saw the need to donate it felt very good.

June 14 is celebrated every year across the world to raise awareness about the need for regular blood donations, safe blood and blood products for saving lives and assuring individuals and communities have affordable timely access for health care and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood.

It is a day is meant to raise awareness about the important act of blood donation and encourage people across the world to donate blood regularly. Donated blood from one donor can save up to 3 lives. The idea behind World Blood Donor Day is to bust the various myths about blood donation and encourage everyone to donate blood on a regular basis

World Blood Donor Day 2019: Theme

The theme for Blood Donor Day 2019 is Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusionto achieve universal health coverage. The slogan for the campaign is “Safe blood for all” to raise awareness about the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care. The host country is Rwanda, the event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and also to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products, as an integral part of universal health coverage and a key component of effective health systems.

As the world celebrate blood donor day today, the World Health Organisation (WHO), has expressed worry that the African region is not meeting its blood needs, as patients requiring transfusion are dying due to blood shortages. This was contained in the World Blood Donor Day message by WHO Regional Director in Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

She said although countries have made significant progress to improve the availability and safety of blood, the demand for blood transfusion is increasing, she stressed that adequate supplies of safe blood can only be assured through regular, voluntary, unpaid donations.

Moeti, therefore, urged countries to support voluntary blood donations as a solidarity act for all, and to ensure that national blood services have sustainable funding for blood safety programs.

“Blood transfusion saves lives. It helps patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live longer, better quality lives, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.

“It has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency responses to disasters, as well as in road traffic accidents and injuries. Safe blood donations play a vital role in providing effective and prompt care for patients in need. This is how ordinary people can be there for someone else by giving blood and sharing life,” said Moeti.

Do you know what Blood Transfusion is?

The transfer of blood or components of blood from one person i.e. donor into the bloodstream of another person i.e. the recipient. It acts as a lifesaving operation to replace blood cells or blood products lost through bleeding or due to depression of the bone marrow.

Objectives of celebrating World Blood Donor Day

– To provide a global platform to thank individuals who donate blood and to encourage those who have not yet donated.

– Raising awareness that blood donation action benefits the society as a whole.

– Promote and support effective national blood donor programs and the elimination of a dependency on family/replacement and paid blood donation.

– In order to maintain an adequate supply of blood for all patients throughout the year requiring transfusion.

– To encourage people to donate blood regularly on an unpaid basis.

– To promote low -risk behavior so that individual can protect their health and be safe to donate blood.

If you have these conditions, you cannot donate blood

  1. You cannot donate blood if all these show abnormal levels; body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels.
  2. Aged between 18 to 65 to be eligible for blood donation.
  3. Your weight should at least be 50 kgs.
  4. You cannot donate blood if you have cold, sore throat, flu or any other infection
  5. Also, you cannot donate blood if you have had a tattoo or a body piercing 6 months from the date of the procedure.      However, if the body piercing has been performed by a registered health professional, and the underlying inflammation has settled properly, then you can donate blood after 12 hours.
  6. You can also not donate blood in case you have visited the dentist a day before. You must wait for 24 hours for donating blood, in case you have had a minor procedure with the dentist. In case the procedure has been a major one, wait for at least a month.
  7. Your hemoglobin levels should be adequate for donating blood. According to WHO, females should have at least 12.0 g/dl hemoglobin and males must have13.0 g/dl.
  8. You may be deferred in case you have traveled to a place where mosquito-borne infections like malaria.
  9. If you have engaged in “at risk” sexual activity in the past 12 months, you cannot donate blood.
  10. After pregnancy, deferral period of blood donation lasts as many months as the pregnancy has lasted. Breastfeeding mothers must also refrain from donating blood.

What we should know

  • Blood and blood products are essential to care for:
    • women with pregnancy and childbirth associated bleeding;
    • children with severe anemia due to malaria and malnutrition;
    • patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of hemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions;
    • people with traumatic injuries in emergencies, disasters and accidents; and
    • Patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures.
  • The need for blood and blood products is universal, but access to safe blood and blood products varies greatly across and within countries.
  • In many countries, it is challenging for blood services to make sufficient blood and blood products available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
  • Governments, national health authorities and national blood services must work together to:
    • ensure systems and infrastructure are in place to increase collection of blood from voluntary, regular unpaid donors;
    • establish and strengthen quality assurance systems for blood and blood products to ensure safe blood and blood products;
    • provide quality donor care;
    • promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood; and
    • Oversee the whole chain of blood transfusion.

Has the thought of donating blood ever crossed your mind? Have you ever thought of the after effects of the same? As per World Health Organization standards, the demand for blood donation is one percent of the total population. What are the reasons that are stopping people from donating blood? Various myths related to blood donation deter people from volunteering for such a noble cause. People fear that donating blood might lead to weakness or they might be prone to diseases like HIV. But, is that really the case? It’s high time we get over these blood donating myths and move on.

World Blood Donor day was first celebrated in 2004 to spread awareness about the need for regular blood donations and its requirement to save lives. On this day Blood Donors donate blood themselves to save the lives whether of accident victims or those who are in need of blood transfusion for the surgeries.



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