Facts about World Blood Donor Day (June 14): History, Theme, Celebrations

Every year on June 14, organizations all around the globe celebrate World Blood Donor Day. An event that raises awareness of the importance that donating blood means to the health industry, as the range of uses is way more diverse than anyone thinks. From plasma treatments to research and emergency uses, donating blood has been an important cornerstone that has aided the world on several occasions.

World Blood Donor Day: History

The history of blood donation goes far back, with the first transfusions done using poorly understood science and very early research. But it wasn’t until Richard Lower was the first one to examine the science of blood donation with animals. He managed to successfully transfuse blood between two dogs with no appreciable ill effects.

And the science that surrounded the topic of blood slowly developed from that point, breaking taboos and moving from animal experimentation. From progress in transfusion technology to Karl Landsteiner discovering the ABO human blood type system to best determine donors, blood transfusions quickly became a staple in health topics and the medical field.

Following on from the success of World Health Day in the year 2000, which focussed on blood donation and the safety of transfusions, ministers of health from all across the world made a unanimous declaration in May 2005, during the 58th World Health Assembly, to designate World Blood Donor Day as an annual event held on every June 14, choosing Landsteiner’s birthday to commemorate it.

Facts about World Blood Donor Day (June 14): History, Theme, Celebrations
Photo: Calendar Labs

World Blood Donor Day aims to raise awareness regarding the need for regular blood donations, important to keep the health industry with a stable supply, and to celebrate the hard work of medical professionals that work in the research and development for new technology and uses for donated blood, as well as medical teams who use blood on a regular basis. This day is also used to thank donors for their service and determination to save lives and make the world a better place.

World Blood Donor Day: Theme

The campaign theme for this year's World Blood Donor Day is "Give blood and keep the world beating". The message highlights the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others' health. It reinforces the global call for more people all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health.

A special focus of this year's campaign will be the role of young people in ensuring a safe blood supply. In many countries, young people have been at the forefront of activities and initiatives aimed at achieving safe blood supplies through voluntary, non-remunerated blood donations. Young people form a large sector ofthe population in many societies and are generally full of idealism, enthusiasm and creativity.

The objectives of this year's 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.

World Blood Donor Day - Celebration

World Blood Donor Day is an extremely important awareness day. Countries all over the world take part in this campaign to stress the importance of safe blood donation, and why healthy people should absolutely donate blood.

Blood drives are set up in schools, institutions, and workplaces. People are informed and assured that the blood donation process will be safe and can contribute towards saving someone’s life or help in research. Non-profit organizations and related services create material like posters, banners, and flyers for distribution and educating people on blood donation. The day also serves as a thank you to all those who regularly contribute their life-saving gift of blood.

Facts about World Blood Donor Day (June 14): History, Theme, Celebrations

The best way to celebrate World Blood Donor Day is to go out and give blood! There’s a powerful need for blood of all types, and there’s rarely enough of it to go around. Just a single contribution now and then will help save lives, so get on out there and give!

Finding a clinic in your local area is surprisingly easy. Usually, teams of medics will set up donor rooms where you can go to give blood with other volunteers. Before you donate, you’ll need to take a quiz to see if you qualify. After that, a nurse will test your blood to ensure that it is safe to withdraw a large quantity. Then, they will place a needle in your arm and remove around a pint.

If you can’t give blood for whatever reason, that doesn’t prevent you from taking part in World Blood Donor Day. There are still plenty of things that you can do. You could, for instance, mark the occasion by updating your social media profile pictures to celebrate the event. Symbols and images can have a massive impact.

If you live in an area that requires more blood, you could also go out canvassing on behalf of your local blood donation group. Often something as simple as posting leaflets through the doors of those in the local community can encourage people to come forward.

World Blood Donor Day is, therefore, one of the most important public health events in the calendar. It affirms the hard work of those early blood transfusion pioneers and encourages people to get out and give!

World Blood Donor Day: Facts

Every 2 seconds – the frequency of someone in the U.S. requiring blood.

10 pints – the amount of blood in the average adult.

42 days – the shelf life of red blood cells.

10–15 mins – the time it takes to donate blood.

56 days – the minimum necessary waiting period between whole blood donations.

1 million – the number of people diagnosed with cancer every year.

38,000 – the number of blood donations needed every day.

38% – the percentage of the American population that is eligible to give blood.

2% – the percentage of people in America who actually donate.

90 minutes – the time it takes to donate platelets.

READ MORE: The Most Important Festivals and Holidays around the World in June

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