The use of red blood cells in hospitals has declined steadily in the 2000s and, correspondingly, every year has seen less blood collected than the year before. However, the downward trend came to a halt last year with slightly more blood collected and delivered to Finnish hospitals than in the previous year.
Whole blood was donated more than 204,000 times in 2018, about 2,000 units more than in the previous year. The number of machine platelet donations remained unchanged at about 2,600 donations.
“Slightly more blood was collected than the year before due to a small increase in the use of red blood cells in hospitals”, says Satu Pastila, Director of Blood Donation at the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service.
For patients, it is important that blood products are available from the Blood Service every day of the year, according to current needs. This is why the Blood Service actively communicates the daily supply status of blood groups to blood donors. Bloodservice.fi has an up-to-date blood supply barometer, indicating the blood groups for which donors are needed right now. The Blood Service is also vocal about the need for blood on social media.
“The steadiness of blood donations from one day to the next has been one of the indicators for our operations since 2010. From the perspective of a steady flow of blood donations, 2018 was the best year of this decade. As a result, the production and distribution of blood products function effectively and the risk of blood products expiring is low”, Pastila rejoices.
The number of blood donors remained unchanged last year. As in the previous year, some 119,000 people donated blood. About 15,000 of them were first timers.