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World Blood Donor Day:
Friday 14th June

Every year, donated blood, plasma, and platelets help to save millions of lives, and all manner of people with serious health issues benefit from a better and longer life thanks to caring volunteers. From children with anaemia to life-saving cancer treatment, your blood can play a key role in all kinds of complicated medical and surgical situations.

The thing is, although everyone needs blood, not everyone has access to it. Countries of all income levels are experiencing desperate shortages, even for the most simple of things. In poorer areas, donations are critical for issues related to anaemia or pregnancy, whereas wealthier countries need blood for organ transplants or complex heart surgeries. The demand is greater than the supply,  and blood services around the world are working hard to make sure they have enough safe, high-quality blood available wherever and whenever they need it.

To do so, healthy people must donate regularly. When more of us get involved, we can help to make sure that everyone, no matter where they are, can get the blood and blood products they need, when they need it. Consistent donations are the key to a reliable and safe blood supply - your collected 470 mls can literally be the difference between life and death.

What Can You Do?

  1. Volunteer to become a blood donor, and inspire others at the same time. 
  2. Commit to donating blood throughout the year, and become a regular.
  3. Spread the word and encourage friends, family, colleagues to join you in becoming a donor.
  4. Help elsewhere at local blood services, donation events, or even support fellow donors.
  5. Share your experience(s) on social media, and celebrate giving blood on World Blood Donor Day.

Who Can Give Blood?

If you're generally healthy, chances are you can be a blood donor. Typically, donors are between 18 and 65 years old. Some places allow 16-17 year-olds with consent, and regular donors over 65 may be accepted based on a doctor’s approval. You should also weigh at least 50 kg, or about 111 lbs.

Safety First

  1. If you've had minor dental work, wait 24 hours before donating, and for major dental procedures you’ll need to wait a month.
  2. You won’t be able to donate if you’ve got a cold, sore throat, tummy bug, cold sore, or any kind of infection.
  3. If you’ve recently had a piercing or tattoo done, you’ll have to wait 6 months until giving blood.
  4. To check your haemoglobin level is sufficient enough to give blood, a test will quickly be done on site (generally, levels need to be above 125 g/l for women and 135 g/l for men).

World Blood Donor Day is all about inspiring more of us to roll up our sleeves to give blood, plasma, and platelets. It’s a call to action, a chance to contribute to a much-needed supply system, and a reminder that these donations literally save lives. 

Celebrate World Blood Donor Day by recognising the incredible difference each donor makes, and maybe even signing up yourself.

10th June 2024