A total of 37,256 people donated blood in Estonia last year, a four percent increase, but the overall number of first-time donors has fallen.
The number of donors makes up for 2.8 percent of the population, below the 4 percent level recommended by the World Health Organization for ensuring stable blood stocks in a developed country, uudised.err.ee reported today.
In 2004, returning donors made up 71 percent of overall numbers, by 2013, the number had climbed to 80 percent.
A possible explanation for the decline of first-time donors is the decrease of young people in the population.
To attract first-time donors and returning donors, donor centers hold blood donation days and activities - 625 events in 207 different locations last year. This yielded 39 percent of all blood donations collected last year.
Last year, 19,844 patients received blood transfusions - a 4 percent increase in line with the increase in donations, which highlights the continued need for donors.