Today is international World Donor Day, which is a celebration in recognition of blood donation volunteers around the world who have saved and changed lives. The Day has the slogan ‘Share Life, Give Blood’, referring to the caring and cohesion that giving blood and caring for others involves.
One of the aims of the day is to encourage younger people, who might be a bit nervous or unsure about giving blood, to feel encouraged to sign up and start donating, so that the donor population doesn’t decline but stays strong. It is also to highlight the need to for donations to be regular in order to keep stocks and quality of blood donations high.
Blood donation saves millions of lives annually and helps with the recovery and health of patients who have illnesses or injuries, complex operations or childbirth problems. Blood stocks are also essential in natural and man-made disasters. Some blood types are rare, so promoting the need for rare donor types is also part of this event. World Blood Donor Day is vital in highlighting the need for blood donors and regular donations.
Why give blood?
- Over 3,000 donations are needed every week
- 1 in 4 of us will need a transfusion at some point in our lives
To become a blood donor you must be in good health, between 18 and 65 years of age and weigh at least 50kgs (7st 12lbs). You can donate every 90 days.
When you volunteer to give blood, you will be asked to register your details with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and to fill in a health and lifestyle questionaire. All the information you give will be treated in the strictest confidence.
The donation itself takes about 8 minutes but you should allow 60–90 minutes in total for your visit. After the donation you rest and are served refreshments.
This information has been adapted from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service website.