Lack of blood donors behind chronic shortages

Lack of blood donors behind chronic shortages

Greece needs 600,000 units of blood annually for the needs of its patients, and according to figures from the National Blood Donation Center, these could be adequately met if the country had 300,000 active blood donors, giving blood at least twice a year. 

However, the number of active volunteer blood donors is about 259,000, covering 65% of the national needs.

“We have always collected less blood than our needs,” said Natalia Kritsalis, founder of the Bloode NGO, in comments to Kathimerini. 

“In Greece we rely a lot on ‘replacement donors,’ i.e. relatives and friends. Instead of people volunteering to give blood 2-3 times a year, the view is that ‘if someone needs it, we’ll find out,’” she said, noting the lack of public awareness. “In schools, children do not learn about this important social issue.”

A recent study showed that only 49% of volunteer donors give blood more than once a year.

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