Today, June 14 is International Blood Donor Day.
The day has two-fold purpose – to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products donation, and express gratitude to blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gift of blood.
About 108 million blood donations are collected worldwide each year. It is happening every minute of each day, 365 days a year, saving lives day in, day out.
Hospitals require safe blood for various procedures that can range from haemorrhage during or after childbirth to anaemic people to people undergoing surgeries etc. Whether you are a new immigrant or well settled Canadian, chances are you or your loved ones have required blood. That blood comes through https://www.blood.ca/en which collects it from kind volunteers who made the decision to donate blood.
There is a constant need for regular blood supply because blood can be stored for only a limited time before use. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed.
Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma — which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.
Did you know?
- Every 60 seconds someone in Canada needs blood.
- Donated blood lasts no longer than 42 days.
- Blood donors are needed every day.
- Complications during delivery can require a blood transfusion for you or your baby.
- A tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 75 patients.
- One donation can save up to three lives.
- The average adult has 10 pints of blood. Roughly one pint is given during a donation.
- The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation in times ranging from a few hours to a couple of weeks.
- If you donated blood every 56 days from the time you were 17 years old until you reached the age of 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 1,000 lives.
- Blood donation as a volunteer opportunity is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history/mini-physical, donation, and refreshments. The entire process takes approximately 10–12 minutes.
On the day of your donation, it is important that you are hydrated, have eaten, had adequate sleep and in good general health.
Next time you hear the jingle in the radio, see an ad on TV/YouTube that says, “Canada relies entirely on the generosity of donors to keep the lifeline going,” pick up the phone and book an appointment to donate.
Donating blood is your superpower. Be a superhero and save lives.