June 14th is World Blood Donor Day. This is a day to raise awareness about blood donation and encourage donors both new and regular to give blood if they can. While June 14th is specifically associated with giving blood, donations are required 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Here is why giving blood is such a vital service and how you can find out if you are eligible
Why do we need blood donors?
Often blood donations and transfusions are things we associate with overly dramatised tv shows or films. However, blood transfusions are actually much more common than most of us realise. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service report that ‘one in four people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their lives’.
Blood transfusions are required to support patients across a number of circumstances. These include patients during surgeries, recovering from cancer or following an accident. In Ireland over 1,000 people require a blood transfusion each week. Despite this only 3% of the (eligible) population donate blood.
Can I donate blood?
The need for blood donors and increased awareness surrounding blood donation is vital to supporting our health system and patients. Therefore, we need as many eligible individuals as possible to donate blood. We often cite turning 18 as the age where we are suddenly allowed to do additional things such as drink, buy a scratch card or drive. What is often overlooked is that it is also the age that you can donate blood.
It’s also important to note that while there may be some limits regarding new donors attending clinics at the moment due to Covid-19, this will not always be the case so why not set a reminder to check back again soon.
The Irish Blood Transfusion Service have created an easy and efficient eligibility test to help you establish whether or not you can give blood. You can find it here.