Medical science might have progressed in leaps and bounds, but sadly bloodhasn’t been manufactured yet. And might never be. On World Blood Donor Day, June 14, Dr Meghna Shah, Dean, The Other Song, shares facts and clears myths that surround blood donation…
Blood is every body’s lifeline, a red liquid that keeps us alive. Statistics peg that our country requires 4 crore units of blood, while only 40 lakh units are actually available. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day in order to balance the deficit. The shelf-life of donated blood is 35 to 42 days, And there is a constant need for healthy donors are between the age of 18 to 65, but healthy donors are not contributing as they should.
In India, yearly we see an average of 234 million major operations, 63 million trauma-induced surgeries, 31 million cancer-related procedures and 10 million pregnancy related complications which require blood transfusions, apart from sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia and haemophilia that require repeated blood transfusions.
The beneficiaries include the following…
- Accident and burns victims -victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.
- Cancer patients – more than 1 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year; most cancer patients will require blood, sometimes daily, or during their chemotherapy treatment.
- For those undergoing surgery
- People with bleeding disorders like haemophilia
- People with immune system disorders
- People with sickle cell anaemia
- There are four main blood types: A, B, AB and O.
- Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
- Type AB-positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all other blood types. AB plasma is also usually in short supply.
- In developing countries, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who do so for the good of the community. They may also donate blood for their own future use or to fulfil the deficit created due to the use of previously stored blood.
- The most common blood group required and present in 40 per cent of the population is type O.
- One of the most uncommon blood groups with only 7 percent of people in India having this blood type is the O-negative blood group. People with this blood group are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
- In certain cases where the persons blood type is unknown or in cases of new born, type O negative is needed.
- As for the AB blood type, they are universal donors of plasma and are vital in cases of emergencies, newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusion.
FREQUENCY OF BLOOD TYPES
- O+ 1 person in 3
- O- 1 person in 15
- A+ 1 person in 3
- A- 1 person in 16
- B+ 1 person in 12
- B- 1 person in 67
- AB+ 1 person in 29
- AB- 1 person in 167
BLOOD DONATION — A SAFE PROCESS
- Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
- The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 min.
- The average adult has about 10 units of blood in his body. Roughly 1 unit (300ml) is given during a donation.
- All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be transfused to patients.
- In India, blood donation is voluntary and unpaid; this is normal in developing countries as demanded by WHO.
- Donating blood is simple. Go to the nearest government approved blood centre, which is based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donation and donating blood. Donate your blood. Save more than a life.