Blood transfusion is a crucial component of health care across the globe. It contributes to saving millions of lives each year in both routine and emergency conditions. It actually plays a pivotal role in increasingly complex medical and surgical interventions. In fact it is directly responsible for dramatic improvement in the life expectancy and quality of life of patients with a variety of acute and chronic conditions.
On June 14, like other parts of the globe, the World blood donor day was observed in Jammu and Kashmir. It is aimed at raising awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It highlights the critical contribution that voluntary and unpaid blood donors make to the health systems to save millions of lives.
The day is observed in order to support and provide an opportunity to health authorities to provide adequate resources to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, unpaid blood donors, as well as to manage access to blood and transfusion.
Patients who require transfusion as part of their clinical management have the right to expect that sufficient blood will be available to meet their needs and to receive the safest blood possible. However, many patients still die or suffer unnecessarily because they do not have access to safe blood transfusion. The timely availability of safe blood and blood products is essential in all health facilities in which transfusion is performed, but in many developing and transitional countries there is a widespread shortfall between blood requirements and blood supplies.
According to the WHO, blood and blood products are essential resources for effective management of women suffering from bleeding associated with pregnancy and childbirth, children suffering from severe anaemia, patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of haemoglobin, immune-deficiency conditions, victims of trauma, emergencies, disasters, accidents, among others.
Every day, several lives are saved by transfusion performed with safe blood and blood products. Reportedly, while the need for blood is universal, access to it is not. Blood shortages are particularly acute in low- and middle-income countries, as per WHO.
The slogan and theme for the 2022 World Blood Donor Day theme was ‘Donating blood is an act of solidarity. Join the effort and save lives’. There is need to draw attention towards the roles that voluntary blood donations play in saving lives and enhancing solidarity within communities. More and more people should come forward and donate blood to save lives in emergencies.