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Celebrating 20 Years of Thoughtful Giving on World Blood Donor Day

Each year on the 14th of June, the world comes together to celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The day isn't just a casual mark on the calendar, but a crucial reminder of how important blood donation is and doubles as a call to action to everyone who can give the gift of life to those in need.

History of World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day originated in 2004 when the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Federation of Blood Donor Organizations (IFBDO) and the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT) to launch an initiative promoting safe blood and blood products. June 14th specifically was chosen to honor the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system and thereby lay the foundation for modern blood transfusion medicine. Since its inception, World Blood Donor Day has expanded into a larger movement and is commemorated in over 190 countries.

The Global Impact of Donating Blood

Blood donation plays a critical role in healthcare systems worldwide. Every few seconds someone, somewhere, needs blood. It is vital for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. In fact, a single donation can save up to three lives, making it an incredibly powerful act of kindness and humanity.

However, blood shortages are still a significant problem in many areas around the world. The WHO estimates that around 112.5 million blood donations are collected globally each year; a significant number, but still short of the overall amount needed. Low and middle-income countries in particular struggle with maintaining an adequate blood supply due to limited resources. World Blood Donor Day aims to address these disparities by promoting voluntary, unpaid blood donations and ensuring that safe blood is accessible to everyone in need.

Celebrating and Promoting Blood Donation

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated with various events and activities aimed at both thanking current donors and encouraging new ones. Worldwide events can include blood drives, awareness campaigns, and educational seminars.

This year's theme, "20 Years of Celebrating Giving: Thank You Donors!," seeks to recognize and thank the millions of volunteers who donate their time, resources and blood to aid the well-being of others.

To read more about World Blood Donor Day 2024 and learn how you can help, visit the WHO event page at:

Blood Donations and ISBT 128

ICCBBA and, more specifically, the ISBT 128 Standard, provides the specification for many of the elements of the information environment required in transfusion and transplantation. While it has expanded and developed over time to accommodate a wide variety of Medical Products of Human Origin (MPHO), it was originally designed for use in blood transfusion.

In today's world of multinational relief programs and military operations, blood products collected in one country may be used in another. A clearly identified need exists for ensuring the unique identification of the donation throughout the world for international agreement on product descriptions. These fundamental requirements are essential for effective traceability on a global scale.

ICCBBA is happy to commemorate World Blood Donor Day with the global community and continue to dedicate its time and talent to develop safe and efficient means to aid in patient safety.


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About ICCBBA:  

ICCBBA is the international standards organization responsible for the management and development of the ISBT 128 Standard.  

The acronym ISBT was originally derived from the important role played by the International Society of Blood Transfusion in the development of the Standard. Today it expands as Information Standard for Blood and Transplantation. The number 128 reflects the 128 characters of the ISO/IEC 646 7-bit character set.  

The acronym ICCBBA is derived from the International Council for Commonality in Blood Banking Automation.  

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Media Contact: Christina Salinas 



Creative Services Coordinator, ICCBBA



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