The Gift of Life: Supporting World Blood Donor Day

Human blood is literally a life-giving fluid that supports and maintains the entire body. Without the red blood cells and the hemoglobin that they carry, it would be a virtually impossible task for our body to transport the oxygen that our organs and tissues need to survive.

However, carrying oxygen is not only the main function of the blood. After all it also, has white blood cells, which are among the primary components of the human immune system. These cells fight off infectious agents and other foreign objects that time and again attempt to infect or invade our bodies. Finally, the blood also carries platelets, which enable the blood to clot and help the body to heal after incurring injuries.

Blood Donation: A Vital Public Health Service

So important is human blood that in the modern world, healthcare institutions and specialized agencies around the world try to maintain a reliable supply of safe blood and blood products in order to prepare for both the prearranged treatments and the emergency interventions that numerous patients will need. In order raise awareness about this perennial need, the World Health Organization even established June 14 as World Blood Donor Day, an event that is now observed and celebrated the world over.

According to the UN agency, the event “serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and also to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations…as an integral part of universal health coverage and a key component of effective health systems.”

Indeed, even in this age of ever-improving medical practices and healthcare delivery, there remains an urgent need to keep the supply of safe blood and blood products flowing. In fact, in the United States alone, some 5 million people require blood transfusions every year.

Blood Transfusions Are a Daily Fact of Life for Many People

As already mentioned, blood is a vital resource that is often life-saving when used in a lot of different scenarios. There are actually many situations that necessitate blood transfusion. For example, it is often required in cases of life-threatening medical conditions like kidney disease, cancer, liver disease, and severe cases of infections.

Transfusion may also be necessary in order to support surgery and other critical medical procedures, as well as to support maternal and perinatal care in many situations.

Finally, blood transfusion is also a necessary intervention in many cases of severe physical trauma resulting from a whole host of events, from injuries and accidents to wars and natural calamities.

What You Can Do to Support World Blood Donor Day

With this knowledge about the vital role that blood donors play in public health, it’s easy to understand why anyone would be encouraged to support the cause of blood donation.

Naturally, one of the best ways to contribute to the cause is by actually donating blood, which is easy enough to do as blood donation drives are regularly held by healthcare institutions, government agencies, and non-profit groups like the many Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations around the world. You must simply pass the screening process to be able to donate blood.

Secondarily, you can be a more vocal supporter of the cause. You can, for instance, wear and distribute merchandise that promote the importance of giving blood. You can order lapel pins in bulk, or have lanyards, wristbands, pin buttons, stickers, caps, t-shirts, and other paraphernalia made to support WHO’s World Blood Donor Day and other similar, worthwhile campaigns.

Communities are also encouraged to organize regular talks and blood donation drives in order to make significant impact on a local level. And if they are able to invite popular educators, politicians, and celebrities who can be ambassadors of the cause, potential impact could even be exponential.

If you care about importance blood donations, there are a lot of things that you can do to support the cause even as an individual. Start by donating blood to a respected institution or organization, and then make an effort to raise awareness in your own little ways.