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Public Health (23-03-2011)

Voluntary and Unpaid Donation of Blood and Blood Components: Commission report published today!

A report published today shows that nearly all Member States have provisions in place for citizens to donate their blood voluntarily and without being paid for it.

As set out in the 2002 Directive on quality and safety for blood and blood components, Member States shall take the necessary measures to encourage voluntary and unpaid blood donation. The Commission reports on the principle of voluntary and unpaid donation every 3 years. This is the second such report and it is based on information provided by all Member States, Norway and Croatia.

Other findings from the report:

  • Overall, Member States comply with the principles of voluntary and unpaid donation set out in the Directive.
  • Nearly all countries have legislative provisions or guidelines on voluntary and unpaid blood donation.
  • Incentive structures and measures to promote voluntary and unpaid donation on a national level are well established across the EU. Examples of incentives are refreshments, small tokens, food vouchers, time off work and a free physical check-up for donors.
  • Most countries have taken measures to promote voluntary and unpaid blood donation. Commonly used promotion measures include public advertisements, personal phone calls, emails, letters and text messages to donors, concerts, media events and campaigns such as 'World Donor Day'.
  • Around 75% of the countries have policies in place to contain or ensure the effective clinical use of blood, as well as to promote self-sufficiency of blood and blood components.
  • Few countries report shortages of blood and blood components.

Link to the report