World Blood Donor Day
Every year on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. The first World Blood Donor Day was in 2005 to honour Karl Landsteiner who discovered the blood group system and was awarded the Nobel prize for this discovery.
After a blood or plasma donation, components of blood are used to treat patients through transfusion or the production of medicines but also to enable scientific and diagnostic research.
For transfusion purposes the following blood products can be used via transfusion for the treatment of patients: red blood cells (necessary for transporting oxygen to the organs), platelets (play a major role in blood clotting) or plasma (used to restore blood volume in the event of major blood loss and the proteins might also help with blood clotting).
For purposes other than transfusion, red and white blood cells are also needed for making diagnostic tests or to validate instruments and train students in the medical sector. Plasma can be processed into life-saving medicines and serum might be used for applications where human cells are grown for the treatment of cancer.
You might now be aware that the voluntary donation of blood or plasma is very important. We therefore encourage you to think about becoming a donor too. If you are interested, you can visit www.sanquin.nl for more information and find out how to become a donor.