Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters.
A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.