World Blood Donor Day 2024: Facts and Guidelines for Safe Blood Donation
World Blood Donor Day 2024: Facts and Guidelines for Safe Blood Donation

Access to safe blood supplies is limited, especially in developing countries. To address the global demand for blood and raise awareness about voluntary blood donation, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared June 14 as World Blood Donor Day in May 2015. Since then, WHO member countries have been promoting blood donation programs to ensure a steady supply of safe blood.

Understanding Blood Groups

The human body contains about 4.5-5.5 liters of blood, categorized into four main types: A, B, O, and AB. Each type is further divided based on the Rh factor into positive and negative, resulting in eight blood types:

A-positive (A+)
A-negative (A-)
B-positive (B+)
B-negative (B-)
AB-positive (AB+)
AB-negative (AB-)
O-positive (O+)
O-negative (O-)

O Rh-negative individuals are considered universal donors, while AB Rh-positive individuals are universal recipients.

Key Facts About Blood Donation

  • About 112.5 million units of blood are collected globally each year, but access to safe blood supplies is often delayed.
  • Donated blood has a shelf life of 35 to 42 days, necessitating frequent replenishment.
  • One unit of blood can benefit multiple patients through various uses.
  • Blood must be screened for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis before transfusion.
  • Voluntary unpaid blood donors are crucial for a safe and sustainable blood supply, contributing 100% of blood supplies in 62 countries.

Health Benefits of Donating Blood

While donating blood helps recipients, it also offers health benefits to donors, such as:

  • Stimulating new blood cell production, boosting overall health.
  • Burning around 650 calories per donation.
  • Reducing the risk of liver and heart issues by managing iron levels in the blood.
  • Guidelines for Donating Blood
  • Age: 18-65 years (varies by country).
  • Weight: At least 50 kg.
  • Health: Must be in good health, free from infections, colds, or flu.
  • Tattoos/Piercings: Wait six months after the procedure.
  • Dental Work: Wait 24 hours after minor work or one month after major procedures.
  • Hemoglobin: Minimum levels of 12.0 g/dl for females and 13.0 g/dl for males.
  • Risky Behavior: No 'at risk' sexual activity in the past 12 months.
  • Drug Use: No intravenous or other drug use.
  • HIV: Cannot donate if HIV positive.
  • Recent Childbirth: Wait nine months after childbirth.
  • Breastfeeding: Wait three months after weaning your baby.
  • Travel: Wait if you have traveled to areas with mosquito-borne diseases.

World Blood Donor Day is a time to raise awareness and encourage systematic blood donations globally. Stay informed about local blood donation programs and consider volunteering to donate. Your contribution can save lives and enhance your own well-being.

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