Appeal to donors as requirement is increasing

The blood bank of the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) in Madurai is on a high as it has created a record this year in collecting blood from donors.

It has already crossed the 20,000-unit mark and registered the highest-ever collection made so far since its inception in 1972. The GRH blood bank is expected to end up with 21,000 units of blood collection as another eight camps are to be conducted before the end of this year. Already 292 camps were conducted this year. Totally 20,354 units of blood have been collected this year — it was 16,144 units last year. “This is a record for both units and camps. Still, there is a huge requirement and we are on the look out for more donors in Madurai to meet the emergency requirement of blood,” Prabha Samiraj, Medical Officer, GRH blood bank, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

She said that in the last two months people had volunteered to donate blood in view of since the patients required blood platelets and public message was sent out requesting for blood donors.

Blood donation in GRH has been increasing gradually year after year. In 2010, the total blood collection was 14,803 units and this had increased to 16,144 units in 2011. This year, it has crossed the 20,000 mark. Last year, the number of camps conducted was 164 and this had risen to 292 till now this year.

“Awareness among the public about the importance of blood donation is increasing. Our camps are also getting a good response,” she said. There is a yardstick to say whether a camp is successful or not. If the total number of units collected was 25 units or more in a single camp, then that blood donation camp is considered to be successful. The blood bank statistics reveal that most of the camps were successful. This year, out of the total 292 camps held, 216 were successful. Last year, 166 out of 215 camps were successful.

Most of the blood donation comes from college students. Last year, 80 per cent of blood donation was from colleges while the remaining 20 per cent was from the general public.

“There is a mobile collecting vehicle also which is being positioned at important public places in the city to collect blood. Through this vehicle, 2,676 units were collected from January to November this year. Blood donation activity is yet to pick up in rural areas. We appeal to private companies, organisations and individuals to organise camps since the need for blood during surgeries is increasing,” she said.

There was a scarcity of blood during college vacation time and at the time of examinations. Blood collected from donors was being stored in the well-equipped GRH blood bank.

“One unit of blood can save three lives as the components can be used for different purposes. In GRH blood bank, there will be 35 donors per day on an average,” she said. The importance of blood donation was stressed because fresh blood is required for heart surgery. Those who want to know more about blood donation camps can contact the blood bank on phone number 0452 2520950.

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