Even a single unit of blood saves lives
World Blood Donor Day falls on the 14th of June every year. This is the birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, a great Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who discovered the ABO blood group system.
World Blood Donor Day is primarily celebrated to raise awareness about the need for healthy blood. It is also a day dedicated to thanking blood donors for their life-saving gift.
A patient suffering from leukaemia needs the support of up to 6 blood donors every week.
Globally, 30 percent of blood donations are given by women.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 108 million blood donations are made each year.
The WHO recommends that blood collected from donations should undergo screening for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis.
Whole blood is made up of:
55 percent… Plasma
<1 percent… White Blood Cells and Platelets
45 percent… Red Blood Cells
Red blood cells carry oxygenated blood to the body’s tissues and are used in transfusions needed for trauma, surgery, anaemia and blood disorders such as sickle cell.
The main function of platelets (thrombocytes), in blood, is to prevent bleeding. Platelet transfusions are needed for cancer treatments, organ transplants and surgery.
Plasma is made up of 92% water, 7% vital proteins plus other clotting factors, and 1% mineral salts, sugars, fats, hormones and vitamins. Burn patients and patients with bleeding disorders regularly need plasma transfusions.
Cryoprecipitated Antihemophilic Factor (Cryo) is a part of plasma. It is rich in clotting factors and it is transfused to people with haemophilia — a genetic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to control blood clotting.