World Blood Donor Day is celebrated around the globe on June 14. The day is part of a global public health campaign by the World Health Organization, it was created to raise awareness about the scarcity of good blood supplies in many countries, and how important it is for healthy people to donate their blood as it can help with medical treatments and emergencies, and research. It is also a day to thank all blood donors around the world.
In earlier times, without proper research, blood transfusions were attempted poorly and many times with disastrous results. Richard Lower was the first person to properly examine the science behind blood donation and transfusion, by examining animals and their blood circulation, and testing ways to stop blood clotting on them. He successfully drained and transfused blood between two dogs, who suffered no ill effects afterward. His research became notorious in the medical field, and he was invited to teach his methods at the Royal Society. However, at the time, people thought it was safe to transfuse animal blood into human patients. Authorities quickly outlawed this and the practice of blood transfusion was not used for 150 years.
In 1818 an obstetrician saved the life of a patient who was losing blood by using blood transfusion and successfully did so with five other patients throughout his career, saving their lives. Research into blood transfusion was significantly moved forward in 1900 when Karl Landsteiner discovered the three ABO blood groups, and the first officially recognized successful blood transfusion was performed at Mount Sinai Hospital in 1907, due to Landsteiner's research.
World Blood Donor Day
In 2005, during the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization set June 14 as the date for World Blood Donor Day to be observed every year. June 14 was chosen as it was the birthday of Karl Landsteiner.
World Blood Donor Day is important to make people aware of the fact that regular donations are necessary to keep the health industry with a good supply in case it is needed for any major emergencies. It is also important to be registered as a blood donor, as someone's blood can be compatible with the blood of someone who is at risk, and save their life.
How to Observe World Blood Donor Day
The best way to celebrate World Blood Donor Day is to make sure you're able to donate blood and look into blood drives that are organized in hospitals or health centers. The blood donation process begins with a short physical exam to assess the donor's health and the donation takes about 10 minutes. A quick and easy way to help save someone's life.
Those who are not eligible to donate blood can help by encouraging family and friends to do so, by explaining to them the benefits of donating blood.
Overall, there are eight blood types (A, B, AB, and O) which can be either positive or negative. Type O negative blood is universal, which means that anyone can use it.
There is a different theme for World Blood Donor Day every year, the theme for 2017 was Give Blood. Give Now. Give Often, in 2016 the theme was Blood connects us all, and the theme in 2019 was Safe Blood for All.