World Blood Donor Day: ‘Young Lucknow needs to be initiated into the benefits of blood donation’ - Hindustan Times
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World Blood Donor Day: ‘Young Lucknow needs to be initiated into the benefits of blood donation’

By, Lucknow
Jun 13, 2024 09:49 PM IST

Voluntary blood donation is low in Lucknow with less than 200 units/day. Major blood banks rely on exchange donations. Youngsters need awareness.

Despite efforts, voluntary blood donation, which saves the lives of critical patients in crisis, isn’t in practice in Lucknow. A majority of blood banks get blood units via exchange donation (units of blood donated against blood issued). According to estimates, voluntary blood donation (where the donor does not take blood in exchange) is less than 200 units a day in the state capital.

For representation only (HT File Photo)
For representation only (HT File Photo)

“We get about 78,000 units of blood annually on average and issue 1.60 lakh units of blood components. The voluntary donation is about 30%, majorly from the camps we hold on and off campus,” said Dr Tulika Chandra, HoD, department of transfusion medicine, King George’s Medical University.

Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences got 20,217 units of blood during 2022-23, and of them, 2,863 units were voluntarily donated, while in 2023-24, 20,417 units were donated and 3,057 units voluntarily. “Camps are the main source of voluntary blood donation and we are holding one on Friday too,” said Dr VK Sharma, in-charge blood bank at the institute.

The state capital has major blood banks in the government sector including that at KGMU, PGI, Balrampur, Civil and Lok Bandhu hospitals. Lucknow has 61 blood banks and the state has 553.

“Voluntary blood donation in UP has improved from 2% some 20 years ago, but we still have a long way to go to achieve 100% voluntary blood donation. This needs a change in mindset, especially of the young population,” said Dr Chandra.

Balrampur Hospital, which gets an average footfall of about 4,000 patients daily, gets a maximum of 30 units of blood where the daily voluntary donation is just two on average. Dr Vinod Hariram Gupta, in-charge of the blood bank at Balrampur Hospital said, “Voluntary blood donation becomes significant as several categories of patients are to be given blood without exchange – pregnant women, destitute patients and even patients of blood disorder. Our major source of voluntary blood donation are the camps while walk-in donors are negligible, maybe one per day.”

The blood bank run by IMA gets seven units of blood daily and issues up to 10 units of blood components. “Voluntary blood donation is just one unit a day on an average,” said Manish Singh, working with the IMA blood bank.

Dr Suresh Kaushal, director, Lok Bandhu Hospital said, “Voluntary blood donation is sporadic. We get about 100 units of blood a month.”

According to an estimate, Lucknow needs about 1,000 units of blood daily on average. Experts said youngsters need to be demonstrated the advantages of blood donation so that they overcome their apprehensions.

“Our body has 5-6 litres of blood, and we donate only 350 ml which is reserve blood. Once we donate, our bone marrow gets stimulated to form new blood which is stronger and more useful for the body. A misconception is that it hurts. There is hardly a fraction of a second’s prick felt when the needle is introduced. Otherwise, the process is painless as nothing is injected like a vaccine which causes pain,” said Dr Chandra.

Those who donate regularly have 5% less chance of a heart attack, said doctors.

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