PEOPLE donating blood for the first time went up by 20% last year in the Valencian Community.
The regional Transfusion Centre said 16,223 people responded to appeals to give blood for the first time out of a total of 116,267- some of whom donated more than once.
Over 98,000 units of blood were given in Valencia province, with 60,000 in Alicante province, and 18,131 in Castellon province.
Transfusion Centre manager, Cristina Arbona, said. “The generosity of the donors is an example for everybody as they help sick patients to recover.”
By age group, 25.9% of donors were between 18 and 35 years old; the 36-45 age group accounted for 22.8% of donors, and those aged between 46 and 65 accounted for 51.5%.
“Though new donor numbers have recovered after the pandemic, we still need to convince younger people about the need to give blood,” said Arbona.
Also important are blood platelet and plasma donations which are vital for many treatments, especially in oncology.
In fact only due to human plasma can some drugs be produced (albumin, immunoglobulins, and coagulation factors) which are used to treat serious conditions.
The aim is to try to produce a level of self-sufficiency rather importing life-saving drugs.
In 2022, 5,499 plasma and platelet donations were obtained thanks to the 2,323 donors in the Valencia region in what is an upward trend, but still a long way off from solving the shortage.
Cristina Arbona said: “We need to be able to communicate the importance of donating plasma to achieve self-sufficiency of medicines derived from it to improve people’s lives.”