Ignorance, misconceptions still prevail among large number of educated people also with regard to blood donation in India making it difficult for the patients to get blood when they need.
Lack of idea on medical and health benefits of donating blood or non-dissemination of knowledge on absence of any side effects in a healthy eligible male, female donor keeps them away from donation.
The country needs about 1 crore units of blood (1 Unit-350 ml), but this behaviour explains why in a country so large as a whole has annual collection of blood only 7 million units was collected. Only if 3 per cent of India's eligible population donates their blood, there will be no shortage of blood and its components in blood banks. Country on an average has 50 per cent of eligible donors.
World wide the total blood donations have been 92 million units including all types of blood groups and of them 45 pet cent donors were under 25 years and 40 per cent or more of the blood had come from women in 25 countries. In India, however, only 6 per cent donated in 2011.
A significant number of deaths can be averted if eligible people donate blood regularly and voluntarily, so that safe blood is always available in the supply chain. The shortage of safe blood impacts thalassemia patients, victims of road traffic accidents and trauma, women with complicated pregnancy, cancer patients and those undergoing major scheduled surgeries.
Fresh whole blood is not essential for treating various health conditions, but many people think that is the panacea for all blood transfusion requirements. The doctors also getting used to using components with the number of Blood Component Separation Units reaching 155 in the country, is also improving the situation. There is no difference between one-day old and 30-day old blood, provided it has been preserved properly.