WHO’s World Blood Donor Day 2016: Blood Connects Us All
June 13, 2016
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Tuesday, June 14, 2016 as World Blood Donor Day. The theme is “Blood Connects Us All”.
In May 2005, at the Fifty-Eighth Session of the World Health Assembly, 192 Member States of the WHO adopted resolution WHA58.13 to establish World Blood Donor Day as an annual event, to be celebrated each year on 14 June.
According to the WHO, “The safest blood donors are voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors from low-risk populations. In the key global fact and figures of 2011 (Fact sheet number 279), in 62 countries, national blood supplies are based on 100% or almost 100% (more than 99.9%) voluntary unpaid blood donations. Forty countries collect less than 25% of their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid blood donors. The primary goal of the WHO is for all countries to obtain all blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020 in accordance with World Health Assembly resolution 28.72, which was adopted in 1975.”
Ms. Jennifer Marcum, Sentry BioPharma Services’ CEO, acknowledges the significance of the international event by scheduling an appointment to donate whole blood at the American Red Cross on June 17, 2016. Ms. Marcum offers, “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says approximately five million Americans require blood transfusions every year. The need is continuous. To this day blood cannot be manufactured on an industrial scale. There is some research being done at The University of Edinburgh to create blood type O red blood cells using pluripotent stem cells, but a true biological blood substitute has not been commercially approved by the FDA. So, in the absence of a safe and effective blood surrogate, we donate. A blood donation not only forges a bond between human beings, but it also creates links to our local and global community. It is the one common denominator among us all.”
Ms. Marcum continues, “Protecting the integrity of the entire blood cold chain should be an integral part of the global blood distribution system.” The WHO says, “Deviations from specified temperature ranges and conditions during storage and transportation of blood and blood products can seriously affect the viability of the constituents of blood, thus leading to reduced clinical benefits. It can also increase the risk of bacterial proliferation in blood components during storage and may cause potentially life-threatening transfusion reactions, such as septic shock and even death.”
The WHO notes, “A break in the blood cold chain leads to wastage and discard of unsuitable blood units, which may adversely affect the supply of blood and blood products for transfusion. An effective blood cold chain is essential for the countries to implement strategies to expand safe blood transfusion services to cover wider geographic areas and achieve universal access to safe blood transfusion for all patients who need transfusion.”
Sentry BioPharma Services offers biological product storage to pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and organizations with need for validated refrigerated (+2°C to +8°C) storage and temperature-sensitive product shipping services. For more information about how Sentry’s GMP warehouse can help protect the integrity of the blood cold chain and biological products in general, contact Sentry via email or by phone at 1-866-757-7400.