“We must succeed in convincing young people of the importance of blood donation and obligating them to us,” said Susanne von Rappenau, spokeswoman for the German Red Cross blood donation service in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
The “huge challenge” due to demographic change
Sven Payne, Head of the Institute of Transfusion Medicine at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), spoke of a “huge challenge” for all blood donation services in the coming years in light of demographic change. The doctor stressed the importance of finding people who donate regularly to cover the dire need. This commitment is necessary, because it is presumably safe to believe that someone is already doing it.
Short shelf life: No stocks possible
According to the DRK, continuity of donations is important because you can’t hoard them. “Some lotions have a very short shelf life,” von Rabenau explained. According to the DPRK Assembly, the population in the North is currently stable at a low level. “But we can’t take full advantage,” von Rabenau said. “At the moment we have relatively empty shelves of Rh-negative blood groups in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.” The Northeast Blood Donation Service of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is anxiously looking forward to the Christmas season. “We can only guarantee a blood supply by special appointments,” von Rabenau said. Dates on December 26 have a long tradition.
DRK: Fewer blood donations than before Corona
Even if many wanted to help donate blood during the Corona crisis, the DRK’s numbers are nowhere near as high as the time before the pandemic: in 2019 there were 123,000 blood donations, in 2021 there were 114,500. So far this year there are 98,000. says von Rappenau : “We expected that at the end of the year we will be short of 2021 again.”
UKE: Recently, many new blood donors
The situation is different for UKE’s blood donation services, which are open at three fixed locations. The support during the Corona period was enormous, said the head of the Institute of Transfusion Medicine, Ben. “We saw twice the number of new blood donors in the two years of Corona.” But the numbers have been dropping dramatically since the spring – but still higher than the donations from 2019.
‘We don’t even miss 18-19-year-olds’
You must have reached the legal age to donate blood. Anyone who has reached the age of 73 is no longer allowed to donate blood to the DRK. “We at DRK have many older donors,” von Rabenau said. “Then they stop giving blood at some point, and then, because they are getting older, they join the group of patients who may need to donate blood at some point in their lives.” You can donate blood for the first time up to the age of 65. “We don’t even miss 18-19-year-olds, because we go to schools more and more and we digitize our speech more and more,” von Rappenau said. “But the generation after school or training, the stage of starting a family, that’s when people get busy with other things.”
Here you can donate blood in Hamburg