10 facts on blood transfusion

Updated June 2014

A blood donation session.
WHO/O. O’Hanlon

Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health, but many patients requiring transfusion do not have timely access to safe blood. The need for blood transfusion may arise at any time in both urban and rural areas. The unavailability of blood has led to deaths and many patients suffering from ill-health.

Around 108 million units of donated blood are collected globally every year. Nearly 50% of these blood donations are collected in high-income countries, home to less than 20% of the world’s population.

An adequate and reliable supply of safe blood can be assured by a stable base of regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors. Regular, voluntary, unpaid blood donors are also the safest group of donors as the prevalence of bloodborne infections is lowest among these donors.

10 facts on blood transfusion

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