Here is the answer to all our material obsession – blood, the lifeline of human beings, can be acquired only through donation! There is no way blood can be manufactured which leaves a donation as the only means to get blood when needed.
While safe blood saves lives and improves health, it is critical for women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and hemorrhage before, during or after childbirth, children with severe anemia due to malaria or malnutrition, people with severe trauma following man-made and natural disasters, cancer patients and for many complex medical and surgical procedures.
People who are battling Thalassemia and sickle cell disease also need transfusions. Additionally, making products such as clotting factors for people with Hemophilia also needs blood.
Things you should know about before donating blood
- Good News, Men! Donating blood improves your cardiovascular health.
- You can save 3 lives with one donation, that is 1 pint or 470 ml of blood
- Donating blood encourages your body to produce new blood cells
- It only takes a couple of months to completely replenish the red blood cells you donate
- You may lower your risk of liver, lung, colon, stomach, and colon cancers by donating blood.
- You can get a free health screening and mini blood test when you donate.
- Avoid donating blood if you are pregnant or on your period.
- Once you’ve donated, drink plenty of fluids, avoid heavy work, driving, or smoking, and only remove the bandage after 6 hours.
- If you have o-blood, you’re a universal donor-this blood is needed in emergencies before patients’ blood types are known.
- Be honest and accurate about your medical history before you donate – You could be wasting your own blood if you’re not.
Blood Donation Crucial to Meet the Requirements of Rare Groups
There is a constant need for regular blood supply because it can be stored for only a limited time before used. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed – a mere 1 unit of blood can save up to 3 lives. But the plight of people with rare blood group is palpable. A rare blood group is found in 1 in 1,000 people, but blood groups such as Bombay “Oh” is rarer, and is found in 1 in 7,600 people in Mumbai and 1 in 2,500 in south-west Maharashtra.
In other parts of the country, people with this group of blood do not exist. Overall, finding a match for rare blood types donor, including rh-blood types, is difficult. While it may feasible to seek information on which is the rarest blood group for a developed country, screening and categorizing the vast population of India is easier said than done. While it will take considerable time before we know what India needs, we can always keep ourselves as informed as possible.
Dr. Vinay Bhat (Consultant - Internal Medicine)
Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh