10 June 2020

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World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on June 14. 2020 will not be an exception. The word «donor» itself comes from the Latin word «danare» – to make a gift because often donors give others not only blood but also life.

Blood donation saves thousands of people every day, but more and more blood is needed every year. Transfusion helps to prolong life, it is an integral part of some surgical procedures conducted during natural disasters and catastrophes. World Blood Donor Day has been created to show respect to people who donate blood voluntarily and free of charge, as well as to attract new donors.

When it is customary to celebrate the holiday

The date of the World Blood Donor Day has been fixed since 2005. It is celebrated annually on June 14th.

History of the holiday

The first Donor Day was held on June 14, 2004. A year later the holiday was approved at the 58th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva and acquired a permanent date. June 14 was not chosen by chance, this is the day when the Austrian doctor and immunologist Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) was born. In 1930 he received the Nobel Prize for the discovering blood groups in humans.

Significant organizations such as WHO (World Health Organization), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (a humanitarian movement that brings together volunteers around the world), the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations and the International Blood Transfusion Society have initiated World Donor Day. All of them call people for voluntary and free blood donation.

Donor Day is aimed to draw the attention of society to the problems of blood shortage and its diseases. Each year a specific topic is chosen on Donor Day, which includes festive and educational events. In 2020, the main slogan of Donor Day was the call «Donate blood for a healthy world». Each topic of the campaign also includes an appeal for people all over the world to become donors, because this is the only way to ensure the supply of «healthy» blood in the required quantities and its availability to all of those who need it. Blood is priceless, it cannot be created artificially, but can only be transmitted from person to person.

Blood donation is a vivid manifestation of the citizens’ social responsibility of  whose decisions that take their roots in the traditions of kindness, mercy, humanism and philanthropy.

Holiday traditions

On this day, it is customary to congratulate blood donors, express gratitude to them and urge those who have not yet decided to replenish their ranks. With the help of numerous educational lectures, people increase knowledge in the field of donation, answer questions that arise for those who are just going to donate blood, draw attention to providing and maintaining the necessary blood supplies.

Honorable donors are also honored during celebrations (these are people who donated blood 40 or more times or plasma 60 or more times). Particular attention is paid to the protection of donor health and further support, as this is an important factor in strengthening their willingness to donate blood permanently. Numerous charity events are held, after which all the raised funds are sent to help those who are in need.

This brings together people who are doing a great and important deal, draws the attention of society to them and the current problems of a lack of donor blood.

How to become a donor

According to the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, a person who is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, or foreign citizen residing in the territory of the Republic of Belarus legally for at least one year, or stateless person who has reached the age of 18 years and has expressed a voluntary desire to donate blood and (or) its components, can become a donor after passing medical examination. Also it is important not to have any contradictions.

If you are ready to donate blood and fit the above categories of citizens, then your next steps are:

Choose a medical institution where you will donate blood and (or) its components. Go through an examination with a transfusiologist, according to the results of which he will give you recommendations.

Sign up for a blood donation by phone or via the institution’s website.

Prepare for donation:

  • alcohol intake is completely excluded within 48 hours;
  • the day before: have a good rest (for example, you can’t donate blood after night shifts), exclude smoked, fried, fatty food, milk, cream, sour cream, as well as sunflower seeds, nuts and bananas from the diet and drink plenty of water;
  • give up smoking on the day of donation, be sure to have breakfast, conduct hygiene procedures.

Attention! Women can not donate blood during menstruation (it is possible only 5 days after the menstruation), as well as during pregnancy and lactation. It is possible to donate blood only a year after childbirth and not earlier than 3 months after the end of breastfeeding.

And remember that if you feel unwell, you shouldn’t donate blood.

Allocate time for blood donation, the whole procedure can take from 2 to 5 hours, depending on your condition after blood donation and on what components you donate.

Take your passport with you, it is necessary for the registration of the donor, no other documents are suitable.

Fill out the donor questionnaire, which contains basic questions about your health – this is a mandatory part of the procedure, even if you have already donated blood several times and filled out such a questionnaire.

After you register, you need to undergo a medical examination.

Before the donation itself, be sure to drink sweet tea with cookies, this will maintain your condition during and after donation.

The blood sampling procedure itself is carried out in a special chair with sterile disposable materials. An additional 20 ml of blood is also taken from the donor for laboratory tests.

After blood donation, remain calm for another 10-15 minutes, and it is recommended to remove the bandage only after 3-4 hours. Physical activity on this day is excluded.

The maximum possible number of blood donations per year is:

  • for men – 5 times;
  • for women – 4 times;
  • interval – 60 days.

 

Head of the transfusiological care cabinet  of the 4th City Clinical Hospital named after M. Saŭčanka             Klinickaja T.

The information was compiled using material from WHO and the «Minsk City Health Center».