Save Life By Donating Blood

Every year, on 14th June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day. The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety, and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need. Yet, as per World Health Organization, nearly 45000 mothers die because of excess blood loss during childbirth every year in India and these deaths are completely preventable if sufficient blood was available. The report also states that India faces a shortage of 30 lakh units of blood to cater to the requirements of delivery mothers, premature infants, patients undergoing organ transplantation, accident victims, cancer patients, patients suffering from infectious diseases and inherited disorders.
Giving blood is a simple, safe way to make a big difference in people’s lives. It is important to know that human blood cannot be manufactured, people are the only source of it and that is why it is important to donate blood and help those who need it. In India, anyone in good health, at least 17 years old may donate 1 unit blood (450ml) every 90 days (12 weeks) by which 4 lives can be saved per donation.
An average human body has approximately 6300ml of circulating blood and the donated 450ml will be replenished by the body within 24 hours of donation. Human beings, in the entire world, fit into any of the 8 blood groups viz O Positive, O Negative, A Positive, A Negative, B Positive, B Negative, AB Positive and AB Negative. It is advisable to know one’s own and family members’ blood groups as it will come in handy in the emergency situation.
Depending on the requirement, the donated blood can be separated into red blood cells (responsible for oxygen and nutrition supply), white blood cells (responsible for immunity), platelets (responsible for clotting of blood upon injury) and plasma (liquid component of blood). Plasma is further processed to harvest Factor VII, VIII, IX, and XIII to treat bleeding disorders.
Blood donation will not decrease the strength of the body; in fact, the donors are benefitted by it. Health benefits of donating blood include a reduced risk of cancer, damage to liver and pancreas, and hemochromatosis. Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity as well. Also, not to forget, the donation itself makes one feel good about having given 4 fellow beings with a second chance to live. Being a blood donor will prevent the person from resorting to smoking, alcohol, narcotic drugs etc and will encourage one to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Every blood donor is a brave soldier who saves a precious life from death.
Dharma sastra says, “Paropakaram Idam Shareeram”. Meaning, the body has been given to us in order to benefit others.
By C. S. Venkateswaran and Lavanya Vasudevan

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