Student Stories

Drops that mean life

July 1st, 2023

The definition of voluntary blood donation was determined by the International Society of Transfusionists (ISBN), the International Red Cross (IFCR), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Council of Europe and is accepted in all countries of the world.

The first World Blood Donor Day was celebrated on June 14, 2004, and in June 2005, at the assembly of the World Health Organization, health ministers from around the world unanimously made a statement of support for voluntary, unpaid blood donors. They adopted a resolution declaring June 14 as the World Blood Donor Day in honor of Nobel laureate Dr. Karl Landsteiner, born on June 14, 1868, who developed the blood group determination system.

How is this date celebrated?

Although one of the most humane, voluntary blood donation is a process that is talked about less often than it should be. Through the work in the Red Cross, the focus on voluntary blood donation actions is given especially in this month in which we celebrate it, but also in the period September-December through the animation of high school students and university students. Since 2022, the practice has also become the organization of open-air actions due to the extremely high turnout of citizens.

The most common slogans used when calling for actions are Roll up your sleeves, donate blood! or Drops that mean life. However, what are those drops that symbolize life?

One of the most interesting facts is that one dose of donated blood can save even three lives! Although saving even one life is extremely important, what is especially significant is that with your one donation, you are helping to save three lives that continue because of you. It can be someone's parent, sibling, relative, friend, child; in any case, you save not only that person's life, but also the lives of all the people associated with that person.

Donating blood is a test that lasts about half an hour, and for it you must meet certain conditions. Since our body has mechanisms to replace donated blood, blood can be donated every 3 months (male) and 4 months (female).

All healthy people can donate blood:

● if they are healthy and feel well

● if they are between 18 and 65 years old

● if they meet the hemoglobin limit values

● every 4 months (females) and every 3 months (males) I cannot donate the blood of a person:

● which weigh less than 50 kg

● who have symptoms of a cold, some illness or simply do not feel well

● who have skin changes (infections, rashes, fungal diseases...)

● which have too high or too low pressure

● who are under therapy or at least 7 days have not passed since antibiotic therapy

● who are in the phase of a regular monthly cycle (for women)

● in which 7 days have not passed since tooth extraction and minor dental interventions

● in which 6 months have not passed since piercing the body and skin (piercing), tattooing or certain surgical interventions and blood transfusions.

Who is the person who has donated blood the most times so far?

James Harrison, when he was 14 years old, underwent a major lung operation and was saved by a blood transfusion. Then he decided to become a blood donor when he grows up. And he became, a heroic hero. They call him, with full right, "the man with the golden hand". He is a person who donated blood more than 1000 times, which means that he saved thousands of lives by doing so.

What does it mean to donate blood?

We can conclude that voluntary blood donation has many advantages, both for the health of the recipient and the health of the donor. If you ever decide to take this step, go for it with the awareness that you are the reason for someone's hope, the continuation of life, and that a part of you enables someone to continue their life by carrying it to the end. And certainly, it means much more than you can imagine, and it costs nothing.

The red drops of life exist in you like an ocean, so be the reason that it continues to exist in others!

By Irma Strašević
1st year of General study of medicine Faculty of Medicine,
University of Tuzla

Your Generosity, Their Hope

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