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World Blood Donor Day – Thanking lifesavers on 14 June

6/11/2021 11:00

Thanks to active blood donors and a well-functioning healthcare system, there are constantly enough blood products to treat patients in Finland. On the other hand, in many developing countries of the world, getting a safe blood transfusion cannot be taken for granted. On World Blood Donor Day, many countries focus their attention on registering new blood donors, especially among young people.

Although nearly one-third of Finnish blood donors are under the age of 30, a blood donor career can also be started in middle age or later.  Our blood donors are committed to long-term help and many blood donors who start at a young age continue until the age of 70. 

Finnish blood donors are highly motivated to help patients and many commit to donating blood regularly. "In 2020, nearly one-third of blood donors were under the age of 30. As active blood donors, they will save many people's lives over the course of their own," says delighted Satu Pastila, Director of Blood Service Blood Donation. 

"However, the over-30s are a group whose donations account for more than 70% of the total annual need for blood", Pastila continues.

Committed and active blood donors are the cornerstone of ensuring sufficient blood products. For women aged 18 to 25, donation is recommended once a year, and for other women no more than 2-3 times a year. The recommendation for men is up to 3-4 blood donations per year. A first-timer must be between 18 and 59 years old.

"Last year, 118,000 persons donated blood for a total of nearly 190,000 donations. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, there have been plenty of blood donors and all patients have received the blood products they need. Thanks go to every blood donor!", Pastila says. 

Precautions have been in place during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that blood donation continues to run smoothly. Appointments and electronic health surveys have been key innovations in organising smooth and safe blood donation. 

Young donors are being sought in many countries

World Blood Donor Day is an international day of celebration held every year on 14 June. The celebration marks the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, who discovered the ABO blood type system in 1900. 

In many developing countries, blood donation and transfusion are not as self-evident and functional a part of health care as in Finland. Many countries struggle to get donors and enable safe blood transfusion. 

Developing a culture of blood donation often begins with young people. They play an important role as blood donors, especially in developing countries, due to demographics, the prevalence of infections, and the general state of health of the population. 

In Finland, young people have always been active new donors. In addition to social media, the Blood Service reaches young people through cooperation with educational institutions and garrisons. Patient care requires the help of about 800 blood donors every weekday.