Every year, India requires about 4 crore units of blood. Only a meager 40 lakh units of blood are available. The gift of blood is the gift of life. There is o substitute for human blood. Every two seconds someone needs blood. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. A unit of blood can save up to 3 lives. A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year.
In 1901, Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician, discovered the first three human blood types followed by the fourth type. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on his birthday, June 14th every year. It is an opportunity to express gratitude to those who donate their blood in order to save lives, without expecting anything in return. On October 1st “National Blood Donation Day” is celebrated in India.
There are four main blood groups known today: A, B, AB and O. All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis-B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be transfused to patients. Healthy bone marrow makes a constant of supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours and other in a matter of weeks. Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns, who need blood. Thirty-five percent of people have Type O (positive or negative) blood. Only 0.4 percent of people have AB-blood type. AB-type blood donors are universal donors of plasma, which is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions. The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O. More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment. A single car accident victim can requires as many as 100 units of blood.
Blood donation is a voluntary community effort. The secret of success is to take the beds to the donors. Thus outdoor donation camps held in a relaxed manner are an enjoyable pleasant experience for all concerned. All over the world, most blood from voluntary blood donors is collected from outdoor camps in rural and urban areas.
The Rotary Club of Greater Ghaziabad organizes such camps in residential area or locality based socio-cultural organizations, educational institutions, industrial and commercial houses. The rotary blood bank has well equipped mobile blood collection van fitted with everything including beds, doctor’s chair, wash basin, storage refrigerator and even a small refreshment corner with own power generating unit. The best method is outdoor camps by carrying blood bank personnel and equipment in a vehicle and pitching the camp in a prefixed well ventilated place.
There are many advantages of collection of blood from camps:
Intending donors get opportunity to donate according to their convenience.
Familiar faces and known atmosphere help in the shedding of fear complex by the first time donors.
Community participation helps recruit new donors.
Health status and habits of intending blood donors are known to organizers ensuring quality blood.
Convert non-donor to donor.
Held in donor retention.
The Rotary Club of Greater Ghaziabad in consultation with the key person Mr. Anupam Goel, Secretary, IPEM Educational Society, Ghaziabad, motivation session and the date and time of the camp was fixed up according to mutual convenience. The proposed camp site within the IPEM Campus in the Management Block was inspected well in advance with due importance given to the following points:
? Adequacy of the space for anticipated number of donors
? Lighting and ventilation
? Availability of water
? Toilet facilities
? Waiting space
? Donor’s screening space
? Furniture (tables and chairs)
? Refreshment space close to the donors’ beds
? Cleanliness of the site
? Movement of the donor in the camp was unidirectional
Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile fresh needle was used only once for each donor and then discarded. A simple four-step process for donation of blood was followed: Registration, Medical History, Mini-physical Assessment and Donation & Refreshments. The actual blood donation takes less than 10-12 minutes. Refreshments were offered in a friendly gesture.
Over 200 potential donors registered for donation; however only 120 qualified for blood donation and blood collected at the camp. Donor Blood Cards shall be made available to the donors within two weeks time directly through the Institute.