Today is World Blood Donor Day. As some of you might be aware I donated blood when I used to live in America and I currently donate blood in the Netherlands. I donated yesterday, coincidentally.
All blood donors received an email which included a link to an online pdf. It was a really interesting read (it was about blood donation in general and blood donation during corona times). However since it is a pdf you will need to know Dutch to read it unfortunately. But the pdf also includes a design originally drawn by Dick Bruna in 1974 for the Dutch blood bank. It’s so cute!
It is a bit different donating in the Netherlands (but only a bit):
- blood donations are handled by Sanquin, a non-profit organization
- to donate blood you go to one of the Sanquin locations (unlike America where they go to libraries and schools and hold blood drives)
- before you can donate blood the first time you need to visit a Sanquin location where they do an intake exam and draw a bit of blood for testing purposes
- if your intake exam goes well you will be put on their register as a blood donor. You need to wait for them to contact you to come donate blood, every time.
- gender matters – males are allow to donate up to five times a year, women up to three times a year (for whole blood – plasma is every two weeks and uses appointments)
- blood type matters – the Netherlands is a small country and blood doesn’t last long, so some blood types are get called in more often