As the world observes Blood Donor Day tomorrow, le'ts consider doing our bit for the cause
So you are above 18 years old. The good news is you can donate blood. Today is World Blood Donor Day and it could be an ideal start if you haven't yet begun donating blood. And become a hero because the blood you have donated can save someone's life. Never mind if you don't get a medal, or get to ride an elephant on the Republic Day.
The theme of this year's Blood Donor Day is ‘Every blood donor is a hero.' Countries across the globe observe World Blood Donor to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. “This day is for donors. It is dedicated to them for their act of kindness that can save someone's life,” says Ramesh S. of friends2support.com an NGO that actively works to promote blood donation. The day is dedicated to celebrate the birthday of Nobel Prize winner Karl Landsteiner, the creator of ABO blood group system. Blood Donor Day goes against the idea of selling blood and was first held in the year 2005. Talking about the need for more awareness, a donor says, “the idea isn't just about blood donation. It is about making safe blood available.”
There are several organisations that arrange blood donation camps every year and these organisations urge people to approach genuine donation organisations for proper handling of blood and also to see that the blood you have donated is properly channelised.
“I understood the need for blood donation when I was ill and needed blood. My sister organised her friends and colleagues for the units I needed. I have recovered fully and as my blood components improve, I will make sure to donate blood,” says Sarbari Deb, a web designer.
Facts about blood donation
Every year our nation requires about 4 crore units of blood, out of which only a meagre 40 lakh units of blood are available.
The gift of blood is the gift of life.
There is no substitute for human blood.
Every two seconds someone needs blood.
More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year.
The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.
Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. And many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
A car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.
Facts about blood donors
The reason donors cite for giving blood is because they ‘want to help others'.
Two most common reasons cited by people who don't give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don't like needles”.
One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
If you began donating blood at age 18 and donated every 90 days until you reached 60, you would have donated 30 gallons of blood, potentially helping save more than 500 lives!
Only seven percent of people in India have O(-ve) blood type. They are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
Type O(-ve) 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.
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.