World Blood Donor Day 2020 | IPFA Statement

13 June 2020
World Blood Donor Day 2020
“Safe blood saves lives”

This weekend, on June 14th, the birthday of Dr Karl Landsteiner who discovered in 1901 the blood groups, we celebrate World Blood Donor Day. This special day gives us the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate both blood and plasma donors who donate for the benefit of patients throughout the world. It gives us the opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of each blood donation for patient care. It gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of the need for regular plasma donations. All these actions are needed to ensure the availability of not only safe blood for transfusion but also high quality plasma and plasma derived medicinal products for those patients with a variety of immunological, hematological, neurological and dermatological disorders. Safe blood plasma saves lives.

The essential contribution from blood plasma donors is an act of community solidarity and IPFA is inviting people to become lifesavers by volunteering regularly to donate blood plasma. Plasma donations are needed more than ever to ensure patients in need have access to safe and quality assured plasma derived medicinal products such as immunoglobulin products, clotting factor concentrates, albumin and others.

Throughout the current COVID-19 crisis and despite limited mobility, blood plasma donors have continued to respond worldwide to meet the needs of patients. During these difficult times the need for blood and plasma donation is greater than ever. It is therefore appropriate that we acknowledge and thank existing donors for their acts of generosity and care for others, and also encourage others to join the blood and plasma donor communities in their countries.

IPFA supports voluntary non-remunerated plasma donation as a safe source of plasma for the manufacture of plasma derived medicinal products. As with all not-for profit plasma collectors, IPFA believes that both patient and donor health and safety including their non-exploitation should continue to guide the actions and principles of all organizations involved in meeting patient needs.

IPFA is pleased and reassured that the founders of World Blood Donor Day (the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Society of Blood Transfusion and the International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations) and others have highlighted the importance of increasing plasma donation and collection by blood establishments worldwide. The need for plasma derived medicinal products continues to increase year on year relying on the generous acts of individual donors worldwide. As the need for these products increases, so too does the risk of acute or chronic shortages potentially depriving patients of essential lifesaving medicines. The need for an increasing and sustainable supply of plasma has never been more evident. The importance of plasma donation and collection by blood establishments has been brought into sharp focus by the COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the needs of hospitals, blood establishments have acted diligently and expeditiously and developed protocols for the collection and processing of convalescent COVID-19 plasma from COVID-19 recovered patients making donors and blood establishments instrumental in the development of a possible treatment for patients who still suffer from this new disease.

Thanks to all plasma donors. Please continue to help the patients who rely on your gift for their life saving treatments. Finally we must also acknowledge and thank the many health care workers and our co-workers in the blood and plasma collection centers who have worked so hard to ensure patients continue to receive their essential treatment during this unprecedented period.

‘Safe blood saves lives’
‘Safe plasma saves lives’