Blood and blood products are a unique and precious national resource. We must not ignore that the blood and blood products are obtainable only from other human beings like us and we need to use this resource very efficiently, that it should not lie surplus in blood banks and ultimately thrown in trash. Meeting the nation’s need for safe blood and blood products through the volunteer donation of human blood is the sign of being an ethical nation where respect and life of human matters first. A blood donation is a “gift of life”, that cannot be valued in monetary terms. The act of commercialization of blood donation is the breach of the principles of humanity itself.
In 2016-17, The total replacement blood donations in India were 2.46 million units, which is alarming and highest in last 5 years. Replacement blood donations refers to the blood given by any relative or friend in lieu of blood transfused to the patient from the blood bank in the hospital - A practice we need to discourage. Replacement blood, transferred to the patient from the blood banks carry a higher risk of infections as compared to the voluntary donations, because the tests to screen blood through Elisa third generation kit can fail if the person is infectious three months prior the blood donation.
The hospitals become helpless due to shortage of blood and for them it becomes compulsory to seek replacement donors and conduct blood donation camps as there is regular scarcity of volunteer donors. Patients and their families are generally under excessive pressure to find blood donors at a time when they are already stressed because of the patient’s illness and the patient is somebody's son, daughter, wife, mother, loved one. The family tries to convince relatives and friends, even if some turn up many says NO. The problem is particularly acute when patients require regular transfusion for conditions such as thalassemia and blood is required every month or even more frequently. The family become helpless to pay out-of-pocket payments to professional blood donors for giving blood, pushing them into poverty. Voluntary blood donation effectively unites the world in terms of humanity, where definitely the one who helped today will be helped when in need, if we become responsible. We need to update our knowledge that there is no harm in donating blood. Moreover, blood donation is beneficial for one's own health.
Today there is need to encourage and establish the NGOs who can work involunteer blood donations, collecting the blood groups data and motivate people to donate voluntarilyrather than conducting campaigns and filling blood banks and following the
practice of replacement blood donations. Let us unite and come forward, be the first to donate blood when ever we get the lucky chance to save a precious life. I was lucky last Sunday to donate blood at nearest hospital in my city.
Mandeep Kaur Sidhu
www.mandeepkaursidhu.com / www.smiles.care / www.theboldwomen.com / www.simbacart.com