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Blood donation: thanks to Julie, Georges, Bob, Isabelle… and all the others!

05 December 2019

Blood donation is at the heart of the communication campaign launched by the Red Cross. It aims to attract new donors to ensure Luxembourg’s self-sufficiency,

in addition to thanking the existing donors. Donating blood is an important gesture: it saves lives … And you rarely have the opportunity to save a life.

This campaign is accompanied by the launch of a new website dedicated to blood donation: www.dondusang.lu.

By increasing the number of blood donors and the frequency of donations from existing donors, it will be possible to better guarantee the country’s self-sufficiency in blood products. By thanking donors who have overcome their fears or obstacles to donation, the campaign, launched on November 18, also wants to encourage “hesitant non-donors” to take the plunge. The visuals and messages are intended to be striking, light and serious, without being shocking or aggressive.

For Dr. Anne Schuhmacher, medical director of the Luxembourg Red Cross Blood Transfusion Center, “we don’t realize enough that someone who gives their blood saves a life… There is no need to be a firefighter or a surgeon to achieve this feat. A blood donation is up to three people who can be treated when they face often vital health problems! In 2018, we had more than 13,000 donors … So, in a way, 13,000 life savers! “

Indeed, blood is a substance which cannot be manufactured and which is necessary in a whole series of medical procedures, on a daily basis.

Why donate? And why give regularly?

The collected blood is first analyzed to check for the absence of pathogenic elements, then its main components (red blood cells, platelets and plasma) are isolated. They are then distributed to the various health services to be used as needed. Regular donations are all the more important since the conservation of certain items, such as platelets, does not exceed a few days. Hence the need to ensure sufficient stocks throughout the year to cover demand.

Blood and blood products help, among others, women who bleed during pregnancy or childbirth, patients with conditions resulting in immunodeficiency, victims of trauma following an accident or patients undergoing medical and surgical procedures.

But its main use is against cancer. In Luxembourg, 3,000 new cases are detected each year. The treatments, the progress of which has greatly improved the chances of survival for the sick, have significant side effects. If chemotherapy and radiotherapy destroy cancer cells, they damage the bone marrow in particular, preventing sufficient production of blood cells. It is then necessary to fight against anemia or other hemorrhagic risks by transfusions of red blood cells, platelets or plasma.