In Hungary, approximately 400 000 blood donations provide yearly sufficient blood products for a continuous blood supply. Donating blood regularly (both directed and traditional forms) has an outstanding importance. For ensuring the blood supply in hospitals, blood donation for a specific patient (so-called specifically directed blood donation) is not necessary but directed blood donation contributes to maintaining a constant supply of blood products of certain blood groups.
Supportive directed blood donation means that the donated blood is not group-matched, but the Hungarian National Service for Blood Supply (Országos Vérellátó Szolgálat, OVSZ) gives group-matched blood in return to the beneficiary (a specific patient). It is important to note that the blood donation that was completed in the traditional form cannot be directed to a specific patient subsequently.
Supportive directed blood donation has been available since 4th October 2021. The donor can be a relative, a close acquaintance or part of a member of a community fundraising. During the donation, the donor must provide the beneficiary’s name and TAJ to OVSZ.
Specifically directed blood donation means that the donated, group-identical blood will be given to the previously designated (by the donor), specific recipient based on a previous written statement of the recipient patient.
Donors can apply for any type of blood donating process at any donating site, but in order to ensure a smoother administrative process, we advise you to get an appointment in advance via the website of OVSZ, and to note during the registration that you are applying for directed blood donation. During the registration process, donors have to indicate whether they wish to participate in supportive or specifically directed blood donation, then to fill out the necessary statement form.
Necessary data for directed blood donation
If participating in supportive blood donation, providing the beneficiary’s full name and TAJ to the donating site is sufficient.
The donated blood will get to OVSZ, and the beneficiary will receive the same amount of group-identical blood as was donated by the donor, within 35 days from the donation.
In case of specifically directed blood donation, the beneficiary has to fill out the statement form:
- the beneficiary’s data:
- full name,
- date of birth,
- blood group.
- data of the the beneficiary’s health care providing facility:
- the name of the health care providing facility, and the name of the hospital ward.
Who can apply for directed blood donation?
Every healthy adult aged 18 to 60 years can apply for directed blood donation who weighs at least 50 kg.
Donors have to present to following documents when registering for directed blood donation:
- identity card,
- TAJ card,
- residence card.
For supportive and specifically directed blood donation, it is necessary to register and get an appointment in advance on the website of the OVSZ.
The process of directed blood donation
Supportive and spefically directed blood donation are possible at each blood donating site.
The general process of directed blood donation:
- The donor fills out a questionnaire regarding their health condition and medical history.
- The donor’s fingertip is pricked with a needle and from one drop of blood, the blood group and the hemoglobin-concentration are determined.
- During a general medical examination, the donor’s blood pressure is taken, and their general health condition is evaluated along with their lab results.
- A sterile needle is inserted into a vein, usually into the elbow vein, and then 450 mL of blood is drawn into a sterile blood collection bag.
- After the blood draw, it is necessary to stay and rest for 5-10 minutes on the blood donating chair.
For further information on blood donation, visit the website of the OVSZ.
Supportive and specifically directed blood donation
The proposed advantages of specifically directed blood donation have been questioned in the recent years. Earlier, specifically directed blood donation from a relative or a family member has been considered safer, since there is a lower risk for potential infections by this mean of blood transfusion.
However, according to recent studies, specifically directed blood donation might have several disadvantages:
- For fertile women, if they receive blood from their husband or child, there is a greater chance for complications during their next pregnancy.
- People who are emotionally involved might hide important details about their health condition and medical history because of the emotional pressure and urge to be able to help their relatives by their blood donation.
- In case of a donation from a close relative, it is recommended to irradiate the blood product with gamma rays in order to avoid the graft versus host (immunological) reaction. Thereby the lifetime of the donated blood product is reduced by 14 days.
- In case of donations from family members, antibodies may be produced in the recipient, which may decrease the probability for finding a suitable donor in the family in case of a future organ- or bone marrow transplantation.
- In several cases, blood donation requires travelling for a long time, long distances. These factors may also worsen the donated blood’s quality.
For the abovementioned reasons, specifically directed blood donation has been regarded obsolete, hence supportive directed blood donation has gained ground. The new blood donation system has contributed to the blood supply management becoming a community fundraising, of which beneficiaries are the recipients of the blood transfusion.