World Blood Donor Day

The world blood donor day is celebrated on 14th June every year. This event was first started in the year 2004, to increase public awareness about the need for safe blood donation. Blood donors are the key role players as they donate life-saving gift of blood to a needy patient .At the present time, there is no substitute for blood. This year the theme of world blood donor day is “Blood connects us all”.

Which patients require blood?

According to the World Health organization ,the world over  about 234 million major surgical procedures  are performed  every year, with 63 million people undergoing surgery for traumatic injuries, 31 million people as a part of cancer therapy and another 10 million for pregnancy-related complications. Modern medicine has conquered various diseases like cancer and complex surgical procedures such as liver, pancreatic and heart transplantation are performed with blood transfusions playing a key role to support such programs. Thalassemia children depend on blood for their very survival.

Where does the blood come from?

Blood transfusion is a core service within health care systems and individuals who donate their blood provide a unique contribution to the health and survival of others. Every country faces an ongoing challenge to collect sufficient blood from safe donors to meet national requirements. Blood donation by voluntary non-remunerated blood donors is recognized as being crucial for the safety and sustainability of national blood supplies. In India states like West Bengal and Maharashtra have a good voluntary donor system while other states strive to achieve 100% voluntary blood donations and are still dependant on the replacement donation by the family and friends of patients .Building a sustainable base of safe blood donors requires a long-term approach that requires the establishment of an effective voluntary blood donor program as well as improved public awareness and acceptance of the importance of blood donation

Why should one donate blood?

According to a 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) report, In India nine million units are collected annually, while the need is for 12 million units having a deficit of 3 million units. In order to make up this deficit there must be a good voluntary donor movement and every healthy individual must take it upon himself/herself to donate blood, in fact with a population touching one billion in our country, there should never be a dirth of blood donors

Basic facts on blood donation 

A healthy person between the age of 18-65 can donate blood. The individual fills up a health questionnaire, undergoes a basic medical examination and if found fit, is allowed to donate blood either 350ml or 450 ml of blood. The blood thus donated is screened for blood borne infectious agents such as HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis and malaria and if found to be free of these pathogens, the unit can be transfused to a  patient. Blood is separated into blood components like packed cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelets etc.

Essentially from one single donation three components are prepared and thus it is said one blood donor saves three precious lives!



Dr Sudha Ranganathan, MBBS, DIM,

Consultant Transfusion Medicine,

Apollo Health City, Hyderabad