Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to thank voluntary, and unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need. World Blood Donor Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).

One of the aims of the day is to encourage younger people, who might be a bit nervous or unsure about giving blood, to feel encouraged to sign up and start donating, so that the donor population doesn’t decline but stays strong. It is also to highlight the need for donations to be regular in order to keep stocks and quality of blood donations high.
Blood donation saves millions of lives annually and helps with the recovery and health of patients who have illnesses or injuries, complex operations or childbirth problems.

“To the young and healthy it’s no loss. To sick, it’s the hope of life. Donate Blood to give back life”.


  • Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health.
  • A healthy adult can donate blood without any risk. The body is able to compensate lost blood in 24 hours, but red blood cells take a few weeks.
  • A person can donate once every three months, but not more than five times a year.
  • It is more appropriate for men to donate blood than women; due to such women-related circumstances as pregnancy, abortion, anaemia, weight loss and other physiological changes.
  • Blood donation does not weaken the body.
  • There is no substitute for human blood; the gift of blood is the gift of life.
  • One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
  • Platelets help blood clotting, giving those suffering from leukaemia and other tumours a chance to live.
  • There are approximately 108 million blood donations worldwide.
  • In low-income countries, up to 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age.
  • In 73 countries, more than 90% of their blood supply is collected from voluntary, unpaid donors.


World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year by the people in many countries around the world on the 14th of June. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on the day of the birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner on 14th of June in 1868. This event celebration was first started in the year 2004 aiming to raise public awareness about the need for safe blood donation (including its products) voluntarily and unpaid by the healthy person. Blood donors are the key role player on this day as they donate life-saving gifts of blood to the needed person.

It was first initiated and established to be celebrated annually on 14th of June by “the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies” in the year 2004. World Blood Donor Day was officially established by the WHO with its 192 Member States in the month of May in 2005 at the 58th World Health Assembly in order to motivate all the countries worldwide to thank the blood donors for their precious step, promote voluntary, safe and unpaid blood donations to ensure the sufficient blood supplies.

World Blood Donor Day celebration brings a precious opportunity to all donors for celebrating it on a national and global level as well as to commemorate the birthday anniversary of the Karl Landsteiner (a great scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his great discovery of the ABO blood group system).


Blood donation is a quick, easy, and incredibly safe process, but only a small subsection of the population are regular blood donors. Out of the people who are considered “eligible” to donate blood, only about 10 per cent choose to do so. Because blood donation is an entirely voluntary process, World Blood Donor Day is an important reminder of how there can never be such a thing as “too many blood donations.”

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated to fulfil the need of blood transfusion and blood products transfusion to the needed person anywhere in the world. WHO runs the campaign by organizing many activities in all countries highlighting people’s stories who need immediate blood donation to continue their heartbeat. The campaign saves more than millions of lives annually and gives a natural smile on the face of blood receiver. Blood transfusion helps patients suffering from a variety of life-threatening health conditions and stimulates them to live longer and quality life. It solves lots of complex medical and surgical procedures all around the world. The campaign plays a great life-saving role for caring the women during pre and post-pregnancy.

Donated blood is used to save lives of severely anaemic women, anaemic kids, accident victims having excess blood loss, surgical patients, cancerous patients, thalassemia patients, people suffering from haemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, blood disorders, blood clotting disorders and many more. Having an adequate blood supply is, obviously, necessary in every country on earth. Right now, many developed countries are able to rely on voluntary, unpaid blood donations to meet 100% of their blood supply needs. But finding those volunteers and making sure the blood is safe is still a big issue in developing countries, and they often have to rely on either family or paid donations. The WHO is working hard to ensure that, in the near future, blood donations all over the world will be entirely unpaid and voluntary.


The theme for World Blood Donor Day is “Blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion” to achieve universal health coverage. The slogan for the campaign is “Safe blood for all” to raise awareness about the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2019 is Rwanda. the global event will be held in Kigali, Rwanda on 14 June 2019.

The theme of World Blood Donor Day 2018 is “Blood connect us all” and the event is hosted by Greece. This day is celebrated to thank the blood donors, to acknowledge them and encourage blood donation and new donors. The slogan of this day is ‘Be there for someone else, Share Life, Give Blood’, which refers to the care given to others while donating blood.


Blood donation is a voluntary practice that helps those in need of blood transfusion due to some accident or illness. The most essential body fluid, excessive blood loss can cause an untimely death if the need is not fulfilled immediately. Hence, blood donation is a life-saving procedure. Blood can neither be artificially produced nor can it be stored beyond a definite time. Amidst the three components of blood, plasma can be preserved for years, red blood cells can be stored for 42 days and platelets can be kept only for 5 days. Consequently, the rush for blood is always on the high in hospitals and the only way to meet this requirement is through donation.


There is a tremendous demand for blood in hospitals. Many patients die because they are not able to cope with the loss of blood. The blood donated is used to:

    • Replace blood loss during injury as in accidents.
    • Replace blood loss during major surgeries. Help patients with blood disorders like haemophilia survive.
    • Help burnt patients receive plasma that may be critical for their survival.
    • Raise haemoglobin levels (through transfusions) in patients with chronic ailments like kidney diseases, cancer and anaemia.


    • Blood donors have to be enjoying good health and feeling well.
    • Blood donors have to be at least 18 years age (maximum age being: 65 years).
    • Weight: at least 50Kg
    • Haemoglobin level: 13 to 17.5 for men and 12.5 to 14.5 for women
    • Pulse: 50 to 100 beats/min and regular
    • Temperature: should not exceed 37.5° C
    • Blood Pressure: the acceptable range is 180/100 to 100/60.


The following categories of people should avoid donating blood

    • Pregnant or lactating women, or those who have recently had an abortion.
    • Persons who are on steroids, hormonal supplements or certain specified medication.
    • Persons who have had an attack of infection like jaundice, rubella, typhoid or malaria.
    • Persons who have undergone surgery in the previous six months.
    • Persons who have consumed alcohol in the 48 hours prior to donation.
    • Women should avoid donation during their menstruating period.
    • Persons with any systemic disease like heart disease, kidney disease, liver problems, blood disorders or asthma should NOT donate blood.
    • Persons suffering from infections transmitted through transfusions like HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis etc should not donate blood.


    • Stimulating the bone marrow to produce new red blood cells, white blood cells and platelet
    • Refreshing the blood system
    • Reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases
    • Getting rid of excess iron accumulated in our body which may lead to hemochromatosis.


Before donation

    • No need to be fasting before donating. It is preferable to eat non-greasy food for two hours from the donation.

After donation

    • Drink extra fluids for the next day or two.
    • Avoid strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for the next five hours.
    • If you feel lightheaded, lie down with your feet up until the feeling passes.
    • Keep the bandage on your arm for at least 4 hours.
    • If you have bleeding after removing the bandage, put pressure on the site and raise your arm for three to five minutes.
    • If bleeding or bruising occurs under the skin, apply a cold pack to the area periodically during the first 24 hours.
    • If your arm is sore, take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen. Avoid taking aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others).
    • Avoid smoking after donating
    • Don’t lift heavy things using the used arm in blood donation for 12 hours.

Blood Donation Side Effects

Usually, there are no side effects of blood donation. It is common to experience slight dizziness or lightheadedness after blood donation. Redness may occur in the injection area.

Tips on Blood Donating

    • Please have a good meal at least 3 hours before donating blood.
    • Please accept the snacks offered after the donation. It is recommended to have a good meal later.
    • Please avoid smoking on the day before donating. One can smoke 3 hours after donation.
    • One is not eligible to donate blood if you have consumed alcohol 48 hours before donation.

This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information.