The need for safe blood for transfusion is a global emergency that directly affects the lives of millions of people. Every day accidents and health emergencies occur around the world, so safe blood is always needed to save lives. Faced with this situation, on World Blood Donor Day, health organizations join their voices to spread the importance of donating blood and do it often.
Along these lines, the World Health Organization (WHO) is launching today its campaign “Donate blood. Donate now. Donate often”, with special emphasis on the urgency of accidents and natural disasters that occur every day around the world. Accidents and health emergencies affect more than 250 million people every year. In addition. In the last decade, natural disasters alone have caused more than 1 million deaths.
Irregular distribution of blood donations
Every year 112.5 million units of blood are collected worldwide, half of which are collected in developed countries. The population of these countries represents only 19% of the total population of the planet, so the need to increase donations is particularly felt in underdeveloped and developing countries.
The WHO also stresses the need for better access to blood donations for all. Many disadvantaged countries do not have safe and effective access to blood donations or do not have the necessary means to make donations or to test the blood and verify that it is safe for transfusion. Thus, countries that are most exposed to disease and natural accidents are often also those with the least access to safe blood transfusions.
In high-income countries, 76% of blood transfusions are used for patients over 65 years of age, usually in support of cardiovascular surgery, transplantation, trauma and treatment of malignant tumors. In contrast, in the most disadvantaged countries, 65% of blood transfusions are used for children under 5 years of age, who are often exposed to life-threatening diseases.
A single blood donation can save the lives of several patients, the urgency is that many people anywhere in the world may need a blood transfusion urgently in order to live.