The journey of blood: from one life to another

June 2012

A woman gives blood while her children watch

Blood is vital for life. Despite ongoing efforts, it will still be many years before artificial blood substitutes can widely replace the donated human blood. A nation can meet all its need for blood if only 1% to 3% of its population donate.

Voluntary blood donors are the safest source of blood, compared to people who donate for family members in emergencies or who give blood for payment. WHO is advocating that all countries move to a system of regular voluntary blood donation to meet their needs. It is essential that every nation has a stable pool of healthy donors who donate blood regularly.

The journey from the time blood is donated to when it is transfused is a complex one as it needs to be tested, stored and transported prior to use. Transfusion services face the challenge of providing blood that is safe and adequate to meet the rising demand.

This photo story chronicles the journey of donated blood from the donor to the recipient.

Read the photo story

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