Italy: International community of Milan gathers to donate blood

Milan: This week, the international community of Milan gathered together (safely and at a distance) for a very good reason: donating blood.

#GiveBackToMilan is the blood drive of the international community in Milan, organized by DoctorsinItaly – a startup accelerated by B4i – Bocconi for innovation, matching patients and local physicians with an international background – in collaboration with AVIS Milano.

The blood drive was hosted by one of the new DoctorsinItaly Medical Centers in Milan, in Via Salvio Giuliano 5/3, where the blood donors could comfortably speak with the doctors and staff in English.

The initiative brought together the best of the international community, with a large number of participants from all countries and ages. Some of the donors were faculty members of universities that host students from all over the world, such as IULM, and Bocconi, as well as teachers at the American School of Milan.

Though the number of blood donors is increasing, pandemic related restrictions have severely limited the blood stock levels throughout Italy, with large cities like Milan facing a dangerous reduction in reserves.

During the period of the pandemic, with requests for blood being more urgent than ever, the international community of Milan responded positively to the call and showed up to make their contribution.

It was heartwarming to see such kindness and so much generosity from people coming from different countries and different paths of life. The 30 available slots for donations were quickly filled, and 30 more pledgers were deferred to a different date due to capacity limitations.

From early morning ─ and respecting all safety measures ─ the DoctorsinItaly Medical Center was filled with brave people eager to help. You may not know it, but blood donations are a great opportunity to socialize and build connections: the most frightened first-time-donors were encouraged and reassured by the more seasoned donors and by the very competent staff of AVIS Milano.

The team at the DoctorsinItaly Center was kind and welcoming and made the whole experience even more pleasant.

After a brief interview with the doctor, aimed at verifying the suitability to donate, the protagonists of the day went on to the blood vehicle and, in 10 minutes and a single blood bag, were able to help save 3 lives.

Once the donation was over, many international donors, finally happy to be able to give back and donate blood in Italy, promptly declared that they were looking forward to the next event of this type and, having said goodbye to the staff and their new acquaintances, headed off to school, work or university.

The team at DoctorsinItaly expressed their gratitude towards the Milan international community and all those institutions, startups, and associations that helped spread the word and create awareness, in particular: Bocconi University, IULM, the American School of Milan, the Erasmus Student Network, Diocesi di Milano, Comunitá Ebraica di Milano, Barberino’s, Virtuoso, Tra i Leoni, Punto Zero, Res Ethica, Bocconi French Society, Campus Life, il Punto Notizie, and more.

A special thanks goes to Federico Poggio, coordinator of the event for DoctorsinItaly, who went above and beyond to organize the logistics of the donation, coordinating donors, doctors, and the like.