The year in blood donation was characterised by an increased use of red blood cells in hospitals and the resulting measures to ensure an adequate number of blood donations.
There were 204,024 whole blood donations, approximately 2,000 more than in the previous year. A total of 131,465 persons arrived to donate blood, 118,931 of whom gave blood. The number of automated platelet donations was 2,585, roughly as many as in the previous year. The total number of all blood donations during the year was 206,610.
The proportion of first-time donors was over 15%, and the goal of 20,000 new first-timers was exceeded. To reach new blood donors, we worked together with educational institutions, communities and companies by organising blood donation campaigns. The decades-long collaboration with the Finnish Defence Forces was stepped up by organising 24 donation events in ten garrisons, resulting in approximately 2,000 blood donations.
53% of the blood donations took place at Blood Service centres, while 47% were at blood donation events, 1,100 of which were organised around Finland.
Group blood donations are popular. The “BloodGroups”, which are groups of people brought together by work, hobbies, studies or friendship, recorded over 15,000 donations – 22% more than in the previous year. 2,231 different groups arrived to donate. A record 938 new groups were formed, over one third of them during the autumn campaign.
We sought to further diversify the ethnic distribution of blood donors. The Missing Minorities project recruited particularly people of African origin in order to find blood donors with rare blood groups. We collaborated on this with several associations.
Helping rebuild blood services in Nepal
Blood Service experts are helping in the development of blood services in Nepal. In a three-year project under the international Red Cross, local blood service staff are trained and guided in areas such as blood collection, work safety and hygiene, and donor safety. The relief work is done in Kathmandu and the central and eastern parts of the country, where the infrastructure was badly damaged in the 2014 earthquakes.