What you should know about blood donation in India
- June 14, 2022
Blood is the most remarkable gift a human can give to others. Donated blood could save a person who lost a huge amount of lifeblood due to injuries, medical procedures, conditions, etc. Blood donations in India are carried out by hospitals and various organizations. People can visit blood banks in hospitals to donate. Over the years hospitals, doctors and NGOs have shown concern regarding the all-time availability of blood in banks.
However, efforts by the government along with advocacy groups have aided in reducing the gap between demand and supply. Let’s learn more blood donation on World Blood Donor Day.
History of blood donation
According to the National Library of Medicine, the initial records of blood donation can be traced back to 1942. During World War 2, the first bank for blood was established in Kolkata. It was set up to aid the soldiers injured in the battle. Then most of the government employees and British-owned industrial houses volunteered to contribute. But after the war people stopped and major contributions were either from the professionals or the paid donors. Everything changed when in 1954 Ms. Leela Moolgaokar initiated voluntary blood donation drives in Bombay. She drew inspiration from the need for the ichor of her injured son. In the 1960s the efforts expanded to different parts of the country. In 1971 the movement achieved greater heights when October 1 was declared the National Voluntary Blood Donation Day by the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and immunohematology under Professor J.G. Jolly its founding president and later government also accepted it. Many private and public blood donor organizations have come up in different locations to support the cause.
Why donating blood is important
Blood can only be stored for a shorter period. So, there is a continuous need for blood in the medical world. To maintain an adequate and safe supply of all blood types, constant blood donation is necessary. Every donor plays a role in meeting the accessibility and affordability challenges patients face by making blood available when and where it is needed. But blood donations must be voluntary and should be accepted only from non-risk, safe & healthy donors. It is also important because a single unit can benefit multiple patients. But there is a catch that the platelets should be used within 5 days and red blood cells within 42 days since they were stored in the bank.
A few things about blood
There are important things involved in blood donation and as a donor, you must know. An antigen is a molecule found on the surface of red blood cells. Rhesus (Rh) factor is an antigen that could be present on the red blood cell surface. Its presence makes blood type positive or negative. As per the National Health Portal categorization of blood is done based on ABO type and the blood group is divided into 8 variants – A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+ and O-. Having so many blood types have its complications. All of them are not compatible with each other. People with blood type A can donate blood to types A and O. A blood type B human can give it to B and O only. Ab type can give only to Ab and O type people. People with blood type O can donate to anybody, especially the O- because there is no antigen present on the cell surface. Furthermore, positivity and negativity have their problems because a positive blood type can give to the positive-negative both. But a person with a negative blood type can give only to a negative blood group person.
What donors should keep in mind
According to the National Health Portal, a person must take care of many things when he or she is planning to donate blood.
- A volunteer should not be less than 18 years of age and more than 65 years.
- Their weight must be 45 kg or more and hemoglobin should be at least 12.5 grams.
- Only healthy people should give blood and males can give it every 3 months while females can give at a gap of 4 months.
- People who have been detected with HIV/AIDS, syphilis, and hepatitis or consumed drugs at any point in life should never donate blood.
- The National Health Portal states that before blood donation an individual should not have alcohol.
- Consumption of blood-thinning medicines should be stopped, and they should have lots of iron-rich diet along with huge amounts of fluid. They also suggest getting good sleep.
- You must go with a calm and relaxed body.
- On the day of donation, you must consume extra water or non-alcoholic drinks. Junk must be avoided as well.
- After donating the area of the prick must be covered with bandages for several hours, strenuous exercises must be avoided for the rest of the day, and you should continue consumption of an iron-rich diet.
Donating blood is always a good idea and a wonderful way to help others, provided we follow all regulations.
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