Today is the 10th annual World Blood Donor Day. The day, sanctioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts. This year’s theme is ‘Give the gift of life: donate blood.’ The WHO has set a target for all countries to obtain 100 per cent of blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020.
This Fact Friday, we focus on blood donation.
- Globally, 107 million blood donations are made every year.
- In low-income countries, up to 65 per cent of blood transfusions are given to children under five years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76 per cent of all transfusions.
- Only 41 of 151 countries produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMPs) through the fractionation of plasma collected in the country, whereas the other 110 countries import PDMPs from abroad.
- In Jamaica 50.5 per cent of the population has Type O blood and, of this number, 3.5 per cent has Type O-. This is followed by Type A (25 per cent), Type B (21 per cent) and Type AB (only 3.5 per cent).
- Blood types urgently needed by the National Blood Transfusion Service are AB- and O+. Also running low is A+.