President Kersti Kaljulaid to visit the Blood Centre on 13 April
President Kersti Kaljulaid will pay a visit to the North Estonia Medical Centre’s Blood Centre on 13 April at 12 o’clock in order to recognise voluntary blood donors and set a personal example for inspiring all healthy people who care for themselves as well as for others to do good and become donors.
“You don’t have to be a superhero to save lives. Everyone becomes a hero in a donor tent or at the Blood Centre. Everyone who gives blood is a lifesaver. It’s important that we recognise the people who give blood as well as all those who work every day to make sure we have sufficient blood supplies. Every drop matters,” said the President before meeting with the Blood Centre’s personnel.
“The President’s visit to the Blood Centre is a great recognition of our daily work. Blood donation deserves to be highlighted and a visit by the head of state is the best way to do so,” said Dr Riin Kullaste, Head of the Blood Centre.
Giving blood is the easiest way to do something good. Becoming a donor does not take much time or effort, but it allows us to make the most precious of gifts – to save a life. Every day there are dozens of patients in need of blood in Estonian hospitals. Dr Kullaste: “By giving blood we can ensure that Estonia has sufficient blood supplies to save everyone in need. Unfortunate accidents can cause our friends, loved ones, and people we know to need help; one day our own lives may hinge on the availability of donated blood.” She added further: “Being a donor is voluntary and unpaid in Estonia, and the intentions of donors who come here to donate blood must be selfless and emanate from a sincere wish to help others.”
Donated blood is used during challenging operations and difficult births, as well as for treating patients with cancer, liver diseases, bleeds, severe traumas, anaemia, leukaemia, burns and various other diseases. Blood donations allow doctors to perform a number of planned operations that would otherwise be considered impossible due to risk of excessive blood loss.
The North Estonia Medical Centre’s Blood Centre is Estonia’s largest institution for preparing blood components. Structurally, it is part of the hospital’s Diagnostic Clinic. The Blood Centre is responsible for stocking blood, preparing, testing, preserving, and issuing blood components and ensuring availability of blood components around the clock at hospitals. The North Estonia Medical Centre’s Blood Centre supplies 14 Estonian hospitals with blood components.
About 2.8% of the population of Estonia has donated blood. In 2016, 33,154 donors gave blood on 57,417 occasions. The average number of blood donations per donor is 1.7. This indicator has remained stable during recent years. There were 5303 first-time blood givers in 2016, accounting for 16% of all donors. Their contribution helped transfuse more than 78,000 doses of blood components to a total of 17,949 patients. Every donated blood dose helps three to four patients. Contribution of the North Estonia Medical Centre’s Blood Centre: 18,881 donors (57% of all donors in Estonia); 32,113 donations (56% of all blood donations in Estonia); 2876 first-time donors who make up 15% of the total number of donors.