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Only three percent of Germans donate blood
Around 15,000 blood donations are needed in Germany every day. But only about three percent of Germans are willing to donate blood. The World Blood Donation Day on June 14th should help to increase the number of regular donors.
Only three percent of Germans donate blood
Organizations such as the German Red Cross (DRK) repeatedly ask for blood donations. A lack of young blood donors is particularly to be complained about in some regions. As the DRK announced on the occasion of World Blood Donation Day, 33 percent of Germans could donate blood, but only three percent do so. The day of action on June 14 is now taking place for the twelfth time. This year's motto is: “Blood connects us. Share life, donate blood. ”On this day, numerous institutions and organizations advertise events and campaigns for more regular blood donations.
"Maybe even saved a life"
Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe (CDU) called for blood donation on the occasion of the campaign day. In a press release, he said: “A small spade, wait a moment and then relax for 20 minutes. And you have already helped others with your blood donation and maybe even saved a life. Because there is still no equivalent artificial replacement for blood. Help us! ”According to the Ministry, the medical need for donor blood is still high in Germany. Preserved blood and medications made from blood components are life-saving after serious accidents and major operations. But they are also urgently needed for the treatment of various diseases, such as malignant tumors.
Most of the blood donated for cancer patients
Barbara Baumann-Baretti, chair of the Association of Independent Blood Donor Services (VUBD), also knows what blood is used for. In a message from the dpa news agency, she said: "People always have the victim in their heads." Most donor blood products (19 percent) would, however, be used to treat cancer patients. According to the information, about 16 percent are used for the treatment of heart and gastrointestinal diseases. As the expert further explained, twelve percent are needed after accidents. In addition, patients with liver and kidney diseases or anemia, as well as women who have complications at birth, rely on donations.
Almost everyone can donate
In principle, every healthy person over the age of 18 can donate blood as long as they weigh at least 50 kilograms. The donation is fundamentally possible up to 68 years - with exceptions: "If the general state of health allows, donations can also be made beyond that," says Baumann-Baretti. "However, anyone who has not donated for a long time or is even a first-time donor may not be more than 68 years old." At the DRK, the age of the first donation must not exceed the age of 64. For regular donors, the age of 72 is the upper limit. Before the blood is drawn, which takes only a few minutes, a medical examination is carried out, which measures blood pressure and pulse, among other things. The donor should plan a total of approximately one hour with registration, examination, blood sampling and a subsequent snack. An hour in which you can save a life. The VUBD also explains on its website: "Since the body needs some time after the donation to compensate for the blood loss, a renewed donation is only possible 8 to 12 weeks later."
Temporary and permanent exclusion criteria
Certain groups of people are permanently excluded as blood donors according to the guidelines of the German Medical Association. They include people with frequently changing sexual partners, male and female prostitutes, homosexuals, prison inmates and alcohol, drug and drug addicts. Other permanent exclusion criteria are diseases such as hepatitis, HIV or syphilis. There are also time-limited criteria, such as freshly engraved tattoos or piercings. There is a break of up to six months here. After a mild cold or fever, you have to wait a few weeks to donate. "There are also holiday-related exclusions," said Baumann-Baretti. "Anyone who has traveled to countries where the hepatitis virus, malaria or dengue fever is common must not donate for a certain period of time."
Eat enough and drink plenty
You should eat enough two hours before the donation, to which you must bring your ID card. “A banana is not enough here. It should be a wholesome, not too greasy meal, ”said Baumann-Baretti. In addition, donors should drink at least 1.5 liters before blood is dispensed so that the blood flows better. According to the VUBD, an average of 15,000 blood donations are required every day. According to experts, regional bottlenecks currently occur only rarely, but in the future the need could increase due to an aging society and improved treatment options, for example in the treatment of congenital immune diseases or certain types of cancer. According to the DRK, fewer and fewer young people donate blood. But there are more and more older recipients. "According to forecasts, this development will continue in the coming years," said Schweiger from the German Red Cross. Therefore, additional donors would have to be mobilized. A young person is more likely to be a blood donor than an older person. A campaign aimed primarily at the younger population comes from the organizers of the heavy metal festival "Wacken Open Air". In cooperation with the Itzehoe Clinic, they have been calling for a joint blood donation campaign for years. Under the motto "Metalheads, we need your blood", they ask "Donors from the Metal Community" on Friday and Saturday, June 17th and 18th, 2016 for a common bloodletting. (ad)