Public Health - World Blood Donor Day - Blood donors, all heroes!
On World Blood Donor day, under this year's motto of "Every blood donor is a
hero", the European Commission stresses the importance of safe blood supplies
and encourages all European citizens to join the ranks of responsible voluntary
Today more than 500 million EU citizens depend on blood donated by less than
15 million donors.
This is not enough to meet the needs of all the Europeans who depend on blood
to survive from an emergency or to live with a chronic diseases that requires
Commissioner Dalli said:
" Blood is life.
Each and every one of us may need blood to recover from a major surgery or a
For many Europeans, with chronic disease such as haemophilia or thalassaemia,
blood is a constant necessity.
Blood makes a difference.
This is why today, I wish to pay tribute to all donors and to invite
Europeans to show solidarity with those in need and donate blood.
Become a donor, become a hero."
When it comes to blood, national health-care authorities continuously face
two compelling challenges:
blood expiry date and blood supply shortages.
Blood cannot be stored forever, which requires a regular replenishing of
In addition, as the population grows older, demand for blood increases.
This is closely related to a higher prevalence of age-related diseases, such
as cancers or hip fractures, whose treatments often lead to surgical
interventions, and hence the growing need for blood supplies.
EU legislation helps to ensure safety and quality of blood donations, both
for donors and for recipients.
It sets eligibility criteria and helps donors make responsible decisions on
what is the right moment to give blood.
It also requires all donated blood in the EU to be tested and imposes quality
requirements as to how professionals must handle collected or donated blood.