World Blood Donor Day 2022: Donating blood is an act of solidarity
June 14th is World Blood Donor Day. This year’s theme is “Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives”. Today the world thanks Blood Donors, and the European Blood Alliance (EBA) particularly thanks the 15 million blood donors in Europe, whose voluntary unpaid blood donations save lives and enhance community solidarity and social cohesion.
Donations of blood and its components (red cells, platelets, and plasma) facilitate a wide range of essential, often life-saving treatments. One blood donation can save as many as three lives. Blood transfusions are essential when dealing with trauma or major surgery, and are often needed in cancer management, or to treat inherited chronic blood diseases such as Thalassaemia. Nearly 120 million units of blood are donated globally every year, with 25 million units transfused in Europe alone. In addition, donated plasma is a source to produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs) that are indispensable for the treatment of people with chronic conditions such as primary immunodeficiency, haemophilia and other coagulations disorders, and auto-immune neuropathies
EBA advocates for voluntary non-remunerated donations as a safe source of blood and blood products and we urge national health authorities to invest adequate resources and to put in place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood and plasma from voluntary, non-remunerated donors; to provide optimal donor care and high-quality blood products; and to promote and implement appropriate clinical use of blood and blood products, including PDMPs.
Recognising the value of blood donation in general, EBA also stresses the importance of increasing plasma donation and collection by not-for-profit blood establishments in Europe, in a way that is proportionate to the regional needs. PDMPs in the European Union rely heavily on plasma collected in the United-States. Increasing use of these products internationally, as well as the risk of unforeseen acute or chronic shortages, may result in depriving EU patients of essential medicinal drugs. Member States should not become dependent on the private sector, and changeable market factors, to increase and ensure the sustainable provision of plasma, but instead rely on and invest in a well-functioning not-for-profit sector to collect and provide this essential product and service. EBA therefore calls on EU Member States to increase the collection of plasma by not-for-profit blood establishments via long-term national strategic plans that foster a large donor base without risking the erosion and fragmentation of the one same community-based blood and plasma donor population.
We finish by again expressing our gratitude to our blood and plasma donors on behalf of our members, acknowledging that our very effective contribution to patient care is down to your selfless, generous donation.
The European Blood Alliance (EBA) is an association of not-for-profit Blood Establishments, with 28 members (including observers) throughout the European Union, United Kingdom, and European Free Trade Association States.
- To contribute to the availability, quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of the blood and tissue supply for the citizens of Europe by developing and maintaining an efficient and strong collaboration amongst European blood and tissue services.
- To increase public and professional awareness of voluntary and non-remunerated donation (VNRD) of blood and blood components, and of preparation of blood components as an indispensable therapeutic means to help patients.
- To assist European blood establishments to continuously improve their performance, based on scientific and ethical principles for the benefit of patients.
EBA’s member establishments are committed to helping patients, developing safe treatments and promoting voluntary and non-remunerated donation of blood and blood components.
Contact: Peter O’Leary, EBA Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 16 million donations
- 400 million population