Blood donors save lives and promote community health

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every June 14. This date honors Karl Landsteiner, who discovered blood groups. The World Health Organization (WHO) established this day in 2004 to thank blood donors and promote voluntary donation.

Blood donor

Importance of World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day has multiple objectives. Above all, it is to thank the donors who save lives with their generosity and altruism. At the same time, the objective is to raise awareness about the need for regular donations and promote voluntary and unpaid donation throughout the world. Finally, encourage governments to improve blood donation infrastructure.

Donating blood is an act that can save up to three lives per donation. Blood is crucial in emergencies, surgeries and treatments of diseases such as anemia and cancer. The availability of safe blood strengthens the health system and improves emergency response capacity.

Donated blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitates. Each component can be used to treat different medical conditions. For example, platelets are vital for cancer patients during chemotherapy, while plasma can be used in treatments for burns and clotting disorders.

donated blood

Myths and truths about blood donation
  1. Human blood is essential in medical procedures and cannot be created artificially. The only way to replace it is through transfusions.
  2. Pregnant women should not donate blood. After a normal birth, women must wait 90 days before donating or 180 days after a cesarean section. During the breastfeeding period they should not donate either.
  3. Some diseases prevent blood donation permanently. These include Parkinson’s, hepatitis, chagas, HIV, HTLV 1 and 2. Using illegal injection drugs is also a deterrent.
  4. There is a type of blood known as “universal donor”, ​​which is type O-. People with O- blood can donate to recipients of blood of various types
  1. It is not advisable to donate blood more than once a year. This idea is false, since it does not harm healthy people. Men can donate every 60 days, with a maximum of four times a year. Women can donate every 90 days, up to three times a year.
  2. Donating blood weakens. During the donation, approximately 450 milliliters of blood are removed. However, the human body contains between 4.5 and 6 liters of blood in total and also regenerates it periodically.
  3. The person who had COVID-19, dengue, yellow fever, malaria or shingles cannot donate blood. The donor must be fully recovered and free of symptoms before donation is considered.
Donating blood benefits everyone

In addition to fostering solidarity and a sense of community, both the recipient of the transfusion and the donor benefit. Donating regularly helps maintain healthy iron levels in the body and helps detect health problems.

Globally, millions of people need blood transfusions each year. However, many regions still face blood shortages. The WHO recommends that at least 1% of the population donate blood to cover the basic needs of their country.

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