Bethesda, Md. – AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) will observe World Blood Donor Day on June 14 to help bring attention to the need for safe blood and blood products around the world. The association is encouraging its individual and institutional members to plan celebrations as a way to thank eligible donors who volunteer to give blood.
“Maintaining a strong voluntary blood donor pool is critical to ensuring that patients have access to safe and robust blood supplies,” said AABB Chief Executive Officer Karen Shoos Lipton, JD. “World Blood Donor Day provides a unique opportunity to bring global attention to the importance of voluntary donation as it is the blood on the shelves that saves lives.”
The first World Blood Donor Day took place on June 14, 2004, in Johannesburg, South Africa. This specific day marks the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system. This year’s festivities will be hosted by the government of Argentina, with the theme focusing on "More blood. More life."
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.