by Savitha C Muppala on  June 14, 2008 at 4:28 PM Health In Focus
World Blood Donor Day
June 14th, 2008

Celebrating the Gift of Blood -"Giving blood regularly"

World Blood Donor Day celebrated worldwide on June 14, 2008, gives a standing ovation to the 'warm blooded' altruistic people who have donated their blood to save the lives of people they have not even met or heard of. Underlining the importance of voluntary blood donation amid the increasing demand for blood to support medical and surgical procedures, the theme for this year encourages people to 'give blood regularly'. The day is also the birthday of Karl Land Steiner, father of the ABO blood group system, which won him the coveted Nobel Prize.

A partnership of four organizations - The World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations and the International Society of Blood Transfusion carry the objectives of World Blood Donor Day forward. They disseminate the importance of availability of safe blood, while acknowledging that donors who donate blood voluntarily and without remuneration are crucial for the collection of safe, sufficient and reliable blood supply.

Blood is life, but unsafe blood is dangerous, causing even death. Various microorganisms are transmitted through blood, making unscreened blood a high risk for transmission of deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C. Therefore, one of the main goals of World Blood Donor Day is to ensure the availability of 'safe blood' for transfusion.

WHO initiative for safe blood

WHO has embarked on a worldwide initiative to ensure safe blood, equipping health authorities with a strategy. The salient points of the strategy are as follows:

• To establish a national network of blood transfusion services to ensure timely supply of adequate and safe blood to needy patients. 
• Establishment of strict blood donor selection procedure with emphasis on blood collection only from voluntary unpaid blood donors at reduced risk of acquiring transfusion-transmissible infections. 
• Fool proof  tests of donated blood along with verification of compatibility of blood groups. 
• Strategies to effectively use donated blood with the help of blood components, in order to cater to special transfusion requirement of patients.
• Judicious use of blood by employing alternatives and reducing the need of unnecessary transfusions.
• A thorough quality check of the complete transfusion process right from induction of a donor to recipients of the transfusion.

Lifeline of blood banks

Voluntary blood donors are driven by an inner urge to donate blood and help mankind. As the world celebrates this noble deed, the national blood donation campaigns recognize that the source of the safest blood is from the regular donors, therefore the thrust of the day is to encourage voluntary donors to donate blood regularly with a commitment and purpose.  

The captivating words of "Many Happy Returns" and "Once Is Not Enough" are the world's way of saying, 'We are banking on voluntary unpaid donors for safe and sufficient blood.' It is also worth asking ourselves an important question, 'Have you donated blood today?'

Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia