World Blood Donor Day was celebrated recently. Russia has its own National Blood Donor Day, and two years in a row a “donor’s Saturday” is held in early August. If there are three memorable dates dedicated to blood donation, it has to be very important, doesn’t it? In the United States there are approximately 60 donors per 1,000 residents per year, in Europe this number is 40, and the average number in Russia is only 13.
Blood transfusion specialists joke:”It doesn’t matter how bad of a person you are, there is always something good in you, approximately 4-5 liters." “Code of ethics of donation and transfusion” includes a slogan: “Blood is a public resource that should be available to the public.”
Donated blood and blood products are widely used in medicine. For example, surgical units spend over 2 liters of blood per bed per year, and if there is a special hematology or organ transplants unit - a few times more.
At the present level, medical units require approximately 60 doses of blood per year per 1,000 residents. The U.S. is approximately at this level of donation, in Europe the number is 40, on average in Russia - 13, and in Moscow the number is even smaller.
Oddly, blood donation can be good for your health.
First, this liquid human body organ, which in normal circumstances is carried along the body in a circle, “wears out,” and needs renewal. Young cells are always helpful.
Renewal of blood takes approximately one month, usually slightly less than half a liter recovers (standard dose is 450 ml and 20 ml for tests). This works as prevention of cardiovascular system and immune system diseases, and improves liver and pancreas function.
Secondly, during blood donation your blood is tested, and it is always good to know if everything is in order.
Thirdly, the body gets used to the lack of blood, and if you get into an accident, then donors have better chances to survive significant blood loss.
But, unfortunately, this logic does not motivate the residents.
How can we attract ordinary people to donate blood?
The USSR government had two different “carrots.”
To begin with, it was very honorable to be a donor. The act of civic responsibility, “I help my country as I can.” Psychological motivations differ, but here you can also add awareness “I did some good to the people.”
In addition, there were perks provided to donors.
It must be said that under the Act of Donation of 1993, an honorary donor of Russia, i.e., an individual who donated blood at least 25 times, could also receive various incentives. In particular, free dentures and tickets for public transport within the region, 50% discount for utilities, trips to resorts, as well as the right to choose the time of annual leave. However, after the monetization of benefits, these benefits have been replaced with a small sum of money which in terms of today’s money amounts to approximately 7,500 rubles ($250) per year. A number of donations required to reach the status of an honorary blood donor has increased from 25 to 40.
Of course, in market conditions blood donors are given monetary rewards. There is no flat fee; it all depends on the region. As it is clear from the Internet that in Moscow donors are considerably better paid, somewhere between 1,000 and 1500 rubles ($30-50) depending on the procedure (plasma is more expensive than blood).
But who in the capital will go to donate blood for this amount, if money is the only motivation? In the best case, it would be students. Of course, we are hopeful that homeless do not donate, but it is difficult to guarantee.
Article 186 of the Russian Labor Code states that donors are provided with a day off on the day of donation, plus one additional day off during the year. That only has value in government establishments, and even then not everywhere. The law in this case does not provide any sanctions for its violation.
So this again is really beneficial for students so they could cover absences at the lectures.
Blood collection stations work the same hours everyone else does, that is, on weekdays and during business hours, which is not convenient for donors.
Sadly, we have the standard situation: the state, declaring the necessity of certain actions, in practice does nothing to implement them. Only occasionally some youth movements organize “shows” where they raid stations and blood transfusion units.
In the case of force majeure, relatives and friends of the victim are often forced to donate blood, to seek donors and so on. This is not simple in case of a rare blood group and Rh factor, and urgency is also an important factor.
The values of society have changed, and we pay for it with blood in a literal sense. In any case, the lack of healthy blood leads to the death of the nation.