WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY 14 JUNE
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BLOOD DONATIONS
90% of individuals that are eligible to donate blood are not currently doing so.
Blood donations have a short shelf-life, so regular donors are essential to secure a constant supply.
Due to a shortage of blood and ageing populations, the age limits for blood donation acceptability are becoming increasingly flexible: the standard age limits for blood donation are 18 to 65 years of age, but in some European countries this has been lowered to 17 and increased to 70. In some places outside Europe, the lower and higher limits go from 15 with parental consent, to over 70 years of age.
Regular blood donors are individuals donating at least twice a year, on a regular basis. They are demonstrated to be the source of safest blood donations. They have regular health checks on the occasion of each donation, and a healthy life style.
The prevalence of markers for blood borne infections in blood donations can vary from 0.001 to 7.5 %, related to the category of blood donors. Blood which is found to be infected, for example with Hepatitis B, C or HIV, is disposed of and not used for transfusions.
One donated unit of whole blood can save up to 3 lives, through separation and use of its components.
Giving blood regularly may itself be good for you. It has been ascribed potential health benefits in coronary artery disease and oxygen-free radical chemistry. Regular blood donation is a life saving treatment for hereditary haemocromatosis and polycitemia vera.
The world record in blood donation is held by Maurice Wood in the United States of America, who in 2004 gave his 300th unit of blood.