Number of people who regularly donate blood is on the rise
According to statistics made available today, 36,255 people donated blood in Estonia in 2014. Although the total number of donors is 3 percent lower than in 2014, the number of active donors has gone up.
In 2014, Estonian Blood Service (Verekeskus) collected 60,890 donations of blood, that is an average of 1.7 donations per donor.
Although the number of new donors has gone down, the number of people who donate regularly shows a significant increase. "Over the past four years, the number of first time donors has dropped 20 percent, but the number of regulars has increased by 7 percent," said Ingrid Valdamaa, an analyst from the National Institute for Health Development.
The total number of blood donors also includes 518 aphresis donors, who undergo an average of 4.1 procedures a year. The number of aphresis donors has almost doubled in the last four years. Due to requirements, 99.8 percent of such donors are male.
It was also revealed for the first time that men and women donate almost equally. Women form a slight majority of donors with 51.5 percent.
The number of people who wished to donate blood but were refused for various reasons was also revealed this year for the first time. Of the 7,955 who did not meet the requirements, the large majority - 43.5 percent - had too low hemoglobin levels.
Blood components from donated blood are used to help people who have suffered blood loss as a result of trauma, operation or childbirth, have cancer, anemia, leukemia, or other serious illness. Last year, Estonian hospitals used blood components on 19,454 patients. That means that statistically speaking, each donation helped to save the lives of three people.