Bethesda, Md. – To express appreciation for volunteer blood donors in the United States and abroad, AABB is encouraging its individual and institutional members to celebrate World Blood Donor Day on June 14. This specific day marks the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system.
“As an international association in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies, AABB recognizes that patients in many countries do not have access to safe blood,” said AABB Chief Executive Officer Karen Shoos Lipton, JD. “World Blood Donor Day provides a unique opportunity to encourage eligible individuals worldwide to donate blood regularly. It is the blood on the shelves that saves lives.”
As additional restrictions on donations are implemented and the population ages, the U.S. and other countries could lose increasing numbers of willing donors, which could cause an even greater threat to our global blood supply. Recent research shows that only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood. Of those eligible, only a small fraction actually donate each year. Maintaining a strong, continuous voluntary blood donor pool is critical to ensuring a robust blood supply to meet patients’ needs 365 days a year, whether for scheduled treatments or for emergencies.
AABB encourages donors and potential donors to make giving blood a regular part of their lives. One unit of blood can save up to three lives. To donate blood, one must be healthy, and meet age, weight and other donor requirements. Those interested in donating blood may visit www.aabb.org to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment.
AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of nearly 2,000 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries. For more information, please visit www.aabb.org.