World Blood Donor Day - IBTS urges people to give blood over the summer months

World Blood Donor Day - IBTS urges people to give blood over the summer months

The IBTS, today (World Blood Donor Day Thursday 14th June) urged people to give blood over the summer months.  World Blood Donor Day is about recognising internationally that voluntary unremunerated donors are the cornerstone of a safe blood supply.  In Ireland,
an ageing population and more medical interventions have led to an increased demand for blood.  Over the summer months in particular we are continually challenged to meet hospital demand as schools are closed, people are on holidays and are more likely to take advantage of the long summer evenings, said Kieran Healy, IBTS Donor Services Manager.

The IBTS is running a promotional campaign Summer Holidays&give blood before you go.   An increasing number of long haul destinations mean that many donors may be deferred for a period on return from holidays abroad.  Therefore we are encouraging donors to come to a clinic before they go away.


Note to editors

The first World Blood Donor Day was in 2004 to promote the concept of voluntary, unremunerated blood donation world wide.  Over 80 million units of blood are given every year, but only 38% of these are collected in developing countries where 82% of the global population lives.  Many countries are dependent on donation by families or friends of patients who require blood and in some countries, blood donors are still paid.  
In low-income countries, women and children are the groups with the greatest need for blood.  More than half a million women die each year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth worldwide - 99% of them in developing countries.  Haemorrhage, accounting for 25% of complications, is the most common cause of maternal death.  Up to 70% of all blood transfusions in Africa are given to children with severe anaemia due to malaria, which accounts for one in five of all childhood deaths in Africa.