Donate blood: why do it? Because it is important?

Donating blood is a concrete gesture of solidarity, it literally means giving a part of oneself to someone who has a real need for it.

Donating blood means caring and acting for the good of the community and for the protection of life. Donating blood is above all a civic duty, the availability of blood is in fact a collective heritage to which each of us can draw in case of need and at any time. A reserve of blood that meets the needs of our community is therefore a guarantee for the health of all: women, men, young, old, children, including ourselves and the people who are most dear to us.

Why is giving blood necessary?

Here are the 10 reasons why to donate it:

  1. Because you can save a life! Donating blood saves a life, or rather three. From each bag of whole blood, up to three bags can be produced by separating the blood components: concentrates of red blood cells, platelet concentrates and liquid plasma.
  2. Because you help many people! It allows not only to save lives who are victim of an accident or to those who need blood for transplants or surgical operations, but also above all, to the thousands of people who suffer from blood-related diseases and who need transfusions periodically or even daily and plasma derivative drugs.
  3. Because you keep yourself under control! By donating blood periodically, you will be assured of free analyzes. In this way, you will be able to guarantee yourself a constant check on your state of health, also thanks to the health check-ups performed by the doctors authorized to take blood. Do a good deed and “remedies” a free quarterly check. What better to ask?
  4. Because it does not hurt! By donating blood, you do not put your health at risk in any way. Blood sampling is painless, not harmful to health and safe because all the material used is disposable. The donation does not involve any physical discomfort and the donated blood is reproduced in a very short time by our body. Indeed, donating is good for health: a change of blood helps the body.
  5. Because it only takes a few minutes! Donating blood does not involve a considerable waste of time; the donation lasts a few minutes. Among other things, you can benefit from all the necessary protection.
  6. Because blood is not made! Human blood is a natural product that cannot be artificially reproduced in the laboratory. The donation is voluntary, anonymous and free.
  7. Why help ensure self-sufficiency! To guarantee self-sufficiency, especially for plasma derivatives. Only periodic donors and the increase in new donors can cope with the constant increase in blood and blood product needs.
  8. Because we can, all do it! To donate blood, you do not need to be a superman or a hero, you just need to be healthy and have turned eighteen. Everyone, if in good health and after passing the check and visit with the doctor, can donate. The only foresight to follow will be to avoid doing sports on the day of donation but otherwise there are no other contraindications.
  9. Because it is a duty! Donating blood is a gesture of solidarity, of civilization and a social duty.
  10. Because it is useful! Most of us can donate blood and many, at least once in their life, may need it. You too

Why are blood donations down?

Science and medicine make great strides to protect our health, but have not yet succeeded in “inventing” something capable of replacing human blood, indispensable for many interventions and therapies. In our hospitals, and not just for emergencies, we need a lot of blood, yet donations are always less. In our hospitals, we need 50,000 donations a year. In 2017, there were less than 40,000. There were almost 41,000 in 2016 and 43,000 in 2015. There is “a shortage” of donations for the self-sufficiency of our hospitals, but until now, there have been no “emergencies”, partly because, when blood is lacking, some planned interventions but non-urgent are postponed. The Avis, with 32,500 donors, is present with its own offices in as many as 65 of the more than 90 Umbrian municipalities. “With a couple of donations a year from our volunteers – explains President Avis – we could reach blood self-sufficiency widely. Nevertheless, this does not happen because there are inexorable donors, or even disappear after the first donation, and for the lack of generational turnover. The donations of young people, for a series of reasons that we are studying, are less and less.

Blood collection saves many lives Blood collection saves many lives, but not “only”. In fact, to think that the donation is only a noble gesture that exhausts its function immediately after the “bag” has been stored by the transfusion center is a mistake. This action has a social impact that goes far beyond the already vital importance represented by the centiliters of biological liquid made available to those who need it most. Given that donors enjoy a level of well-being above the average of the population, for the community to have many donors does not only mean being able to cope with emergencies and requests for red units, but also to be able to count on many citizens with a healthier life. In social terms this means having a critical mass of health that makes its weight felt on the whole system. Even under the mere economic profile. In short, those who donate blood improve their existence and that of others (and not only those who will receive their blood).

Finally, a socio-political consideration. Ours is one of the countries where blood cannot be bought: it can be given and received only free of charge (including plasma, unlike some European states). It is a sign and a heritage of civilization to be preserved and protected, with a civic sense that is up to it. It would be sad and dangerous that it went differently because at the bottom of the descent the “laws of the market” would be waiting for us. In this case, it would be better, much better, not to invite them to any vampire banquet. To prevent this, the associations that deal with the collection of blood and the promotion of donation can do a lot. However, what works most is the example, especially for young people, which is the slice of the population that is most lacking in the appeal of the donation. Knowing a donor counts more than a thousand words.

It is the best way to understand that giving blood is a real bargain, which is good for everyone.