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14 Jun. 2023

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World Blood Donor Day: why blood donation has become another line of defense in Ukraine

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World Blood Donor Day: why blood donation has become another line of defense in Ukraine

On June 14, the world celebrates World Blood Donor Day. Find out why blood donation has become so important for Ukraine during the war and what you need to do to become a donor

Buy reliable health insurance for Ukrainians with a guarantee of payments
Buy reliable health insurance for Ukrainians with a guarantee of payments
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World Blood Donor Day was established in 2005, during the 58th World Health Assembly. The main initiators of this date are the WHO, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations and the International Society of Blood Transfusion. 


It is believed that one donor can save the lives of 3 people, so on this day it is customary to express gratitude to existing blood donors and conduct an information campaign to attract other people to donate.


Why did blood donation in Ukraine become especially important during the war?


In today's realities, when more than 8 million Ukrainians have been forced to go abroad and a significant number of men have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the state is in dire need of updating and expanding the blood donor base. After all, not only the rescue of civilians who have become victims of russian aggression, but also the lives of our soldiers who are taking the brunt of the occupiers' attacks depend on the availability of a sufficient number of donors.


In times of war, donated blood is perhaps the only way to save the life of a person who has been seriously injured with subsequent blood loss. And the main task of Ukrainians in the rear is to do everything possible to save the lives of those who suffered as a result of the russian invasion.


Why should donations be regular?


Firstly, the country should form strategic reserves that can be used for the needs of the victims. Under martial law, the main risk group is the military.


Second, the donation of some blood components requires repeated donation. For example, blood plasma is frozen for 6 months and is not used until it is donated again. This is necessary to test the donor's blood and make sure that his or her plasma can be used safely.


Who can be a blood donor?


Any legally capable Ukrainian man or woman aged 18 to 60 can become a donor. A potential donor must first undergo an appropriate examination to exclude the presence of temporary or absolute contraindications. The minimum weight for admission to blood donation is 50 kilograms, but some donor centers raise the minimum limit to 60 kilograms.




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Contraindications to donating blood and its components


Temporary and absolute contraindications for blood donors are defined in Annex 3 of the Procedure for Medical Examination of Blood and Blood Components Donors. The main temporary contraindications include:


● infections

● risk of transfusion-transmissible infections (surgical interventions, tattoos or piercings, endoscopic examinations, etc.)

● vaccination;

● other temporary contraindications (pregnancy, dental treatment, taking certain medications, etc.)

● epidemiological situations in certain regions (disease outbreaks).


Absolute contraindications to blood donation are:


● diseases of the cardiovascular and central nervous systems

● coagulopathy (pathological tendency to bleed)

● regular cases of syncope or seizures;

● serious chronic diseases (gastrointestinal, genitourinary and respiratory systems, as well as immunological, metabolic or hematological diseases);

● diabetes mellitus

● hepatitis, malignant tumors, encephalopathy, etc.


How to prepare for blood donation?


A potential donor should stop taking medications containing analgesics and aspirin three days before donating blood to prevent deterioration of blood clotting. In addition, 48 hours before the donation, they should avoid alcohol, as well as fatty, fried, smoked, spicy foods and dairy products. Smoking is prohibited one hour before donating blood.


Healthy sleep and a light breakfast (oatmeal with water, dietary biscuits with tea) are prerequisites on the day of donation.


How many times can I donate blood?


Men can donate blood 5 times a year, women - no more than 4 times a year. According to experts, after 5 regular donations, there should be a break of at least 3 months.


How much blood is taken?


According to the standards, 450 ml of blood is taken during donation + 25 milliliters for analysis. If the donor is underweight, it is recommended to donate no more than 350 milliliters + 25 milliliters for tests. 


Everyone should remember that donated blood is always needed everywhere, especially in times of war. And unfortunately, medical practice proves that most often the need for a blood transfusion is unpredictable and sudden, and none of us is immune to the possibility of becoming this patient. Therefore, we recommend that you take care of your safety in advance and purchase reliable health insurance, which will become your guarantee of safety and protect you from unforeseen expenses for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.


Thus, the best thing we can do is to be proactive, because the number of lives saved from russian aggression depends on each of us.


We remind you, since the beginning of the large-scale invasion, the population of Ukraine has decreased significantly. More than 8.6 million Ukrainians have left the country and have not yet returned. We told you what sociologists say about this and how many people currently live in Ukraine in our previous article.




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