Blood Donation: A Clinical and Moral Imperative

Blood Donation

Blood donation drives are common across all countries and often find a lot of people willing to donate. The need to donate blood has never been starker. Blood banks and hospitals around the country, and the world for that matter, require blood groups of all varieties for a number of procedures and emergencies. For those in need of transfusions blood holds the power of life. However, India, like many developing countries, is facing a severe dearth of this life saving elixir.

blood donation

A 2012 report by the World Health Organization points at a dearth of about 3 million units of blood that India faces every year. Against an annual requirement of 12 million units of blood, Indians managed to provide only 9 million units. Delhi, the nation’s capital, faces a dearth of about 100,000 units every year. The problem with  blood donation is that it has a shelf life of about 35 to 40 days, and requires regular replenishment. India sees upwards of 234 million major operations every year, more than 60 million trauma related surgeries, more than 30 million cancer related surgeries and more than 10 million pregnancy related complications.

blood donation

Moreover, diseases like thalassemia, anemia, haemophilia and sickle cell disease also need to be treated with transfused blood. June 14 has been declared as the World Blood Donors Day in order to further the purpose of the blood donation and encourage those who step forward to donate it. The lookout is not all bad, the number of blood donators has been steadily on the rise thanks to increase awareness, campaigns and activist work. States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh have been leading the way in blood donation. Currently, only 5% of the world’s population donates blood, if that number doubles it will very well eliminate all the shortfall.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to donate blood:

  • The fluids in your body are completely replaced 24 hours after blood donation
  • There is no way you can contract AIDS through blood donation, all the equipment is sterile and pre-packaged
  • It hardly takes an hour of your time
  • Contrary to popular perception it does not hurt
  • If you are wondering whether you will feel weak after the donation, don’t worry, a little bit of food and you can go back to your routine
  • If you are O negative your blood can be used for all blood types, it has high demand and very low supply
  • AB positive plasma also helps patients of all blood types
  • Make sure you have a proper medical history before donating blood
  • You can donate every 8 weeks

Here are some cases where blood is essential, and a much required component for survival:

  • An automobile accident victim may need up to 100 units of blood
  • A heart surgery may require 6 units of bloods or platelets
  • Bone marrow transplant can require up to 120 units of platelets and 20 units of blood
  • Sickle Cell patients require blood transfusions all their life
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds

Blood donation has ceased to be a moral purpose for most people and is not an essential need of the hour. If more and more people donate blood, the severe blood crisis we see today can be tackled with ease.

Contact your nearest Hospital or a Blood Donation Camp today!

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