Society

Italy has become one of Europe's leaders in blood donation

Italians are perhaps the best blood donors in Europe. According to the latest data provided by the National Association of Blood Donors (Associazione Volontari Italiani Sangue (AVIS)), about 80 percent of the inhabitants of the sunny country regularly and consistently help fellow citizens in need. These figures indicate that Italy is the second largest European country in the collection of donated blood.

The head of the association, Vincenzo Saturni, stated that the Basilicata region, which has more than 250 thousand blood donors (5.84 percent of the total), reached special indicators, followed by the Umbria region (5.44 percent ) and Emilia Romagna (5.43 percent). Saturni explained that these estimates relate to 2012 and they exceed previous indicators. So, for example, compared with 2011, the percentage of Italians who “shared” their blood slightly increased.

The National Association of Blood Donors, not without pride, notes that over 2012, more than two million blood transfusions were performed in the country.

The average age of donors willing to give away “red gold” averages between 36 and 45 years, which is equivalent to 27 percent of the total number of volunteers. The second age category, which has repeatedly helped those in need, is donors aged 46–55 years (23 percent). Least of all, young people under the age of 25 agree to donate: only 13 percent of young people decide to act as a blood donor.

The head of the association also said that most donors are men (67 percent). This trend, however, can be easily explained: males can donate blood up to four times a year, while women of childbearing age can only donate blood twice a year.

In Italy, AVIS was organized back in 1927 and since then the association has developed rapidly in the country. Today, AVIS offices are present in 3254 towns and villages in Italy, and also represent the interests of 71 percent of the country's donors. According to the head of the association, it is thanks to her that the country's national blood bank is completely filled.

Medicine in the country of wine and the sun has been developing rapidly over the years.

So, back in the last century, Italian doctors made a real breakthrough in this area: they spent first open heart surgery.

This momentous event has occurred. January 24, 1964, so a couple of days ago, the country's cardiac surgeons celebrated a peculiar anniversary of their achievement. Fifty years ago, an Italian surgeon, Padua professor Giuseppe Cevese, performed this complicated operation, as a result of which the patient’s congenital heart disease was successfully eliminated.

For several decades, Italian medicine has taken a huge step forward. In the very center where Chevese worked, more than forty thousand open-heart surgeries were performed. On the operating table were both adults and children. It was the Padua heart surgeons who managed to perform country's first heart transplant.

And last spring, Italian surgeons did the impossible at all: they performed open-heart surgery on a man who recently turned one hundred years old.

Doctors at Careggi Hospital, located near Florence (Firenze), decided to take such a desperate step in an attempt to save a pensioner who had a myocardial infarction. The surgery was successful, and the patient soon recovered. This was a real breakthrough in Italian medicine: Italy was the first country where a similar operation was performed on the heart of a patient of such an honorable age.

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