Give freely. Give often. Blood donation matters

World Blood Donor Day, 14 June 2015

10/06/2015
Photo: A man's arm during blood donation

Blood donation is possible all 8-12 weeks, depending on age, sex and weight; ©panthermedia.net/ wavebreakmediamicro

The slogan of World Blood Donor Day 2015 already says it all: Accident victims or patients undergoing difficult or lengthy surgery need blood transfusions to save their lives. This is why, at 14 June, recipients of donated blood all around the world say: "Thank you for saving my life!"

Their personal stories are the center of the WHO campaign, but also the "advertisement" of voluntary, unpaid and, above all, regular blood donation.

In many countries demand for blood and blood products cannot yet be met with just the help of voluntary unpaid donors. Blood services, regardless if they are a hospital department or an organization like the Red Cross, face a challenge to provide enough blood products. Often, autologous donations, donations from family members or paid donors are needed to make ends meet.

Read more information about World Blood Donor Day in the campaign announcement from WHO (english). The WHO pursues the goal that all donations come from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020.

But even if enough blood packs and products are available – their distribution, storage, shelf life and availability at their actual place of use are problematic, too. These aspects are challenging even for large clinics that have built up a sophisticated infrastructure.

Watch one of the most recent videos from our editorial team to learn how the logistics of blood could possibly be tackled in the future: