IDF soldier donating blood
IDF soldier donating blood Israel news photo: IDF

The expression of soldiers giving their blood for a country never is truer than in Israel, where troops contribute 25 percent of blood bank donations.

IDF soldiers every year contribute 72,000 units of blood, according to the military. The total amount of donations to the nation’s blood bank every year is nearly 200,000 units.

Every soldier who meets the criteria set by the Health Ministry can contribute once every six months, when the IDF operates mandatory twice-yearly blood donation centers for soldiers.

Blood donated by IDF soldiers ends up being used both for soldiers and members of the general public. Almost 100 percent of blood donations are given through Magen David Adom (MDA).

Israelis donate on the average 1.3 times a year. Women account for only 25 percent of the blood donors, with anemia being cited as one of the reasons for the relatively low rate compared with men.

"The percentage of donors required to assure that there will be enough blood to meet the needs of the medical system in Israel is approaching the 5 percent limit, much higher than in most other countries.

However, “It is not enough, although we are definitely in a good place in the middle", explains Prof. Eilat Shinar, Director of Blood Services. "The donor rate in the United States fluctuates between 3-4 percent and likewise can be found in some countries in Europe.”