Donate Life & More…

This post has been pending for a long time and for a good reason (mebbe not such a good one). The other day I was adding the Blood Search application on Orkut and it had queries – frequency of blood donation, when was the last time you donated blood, etc. I would have loved to fill these if only… Then again I saw a Donate Blood message in a movie this weekend. Above all I saw a mail circulate urging people to donate blood as their bloodbank had run dry!!! So here is my experience with this noble deed…

Before I proceed I did like to mention the wonderful work done by Sankalp in this regard. You can call Sankalp help line 1062 and expect to get blood when all the blood banks have turned you away (Yes they do turn u away!!!).

I have always believed in suggesting things by setting an example be it cycling, avoiding plastic or using alternatives, saving electricty, paper, etc. But when it comes to blood donation, I can only set a bad example… Around 5 years ago when I met some people from a blood bank. They spoke of people who have donated blood over a 100 times. I was instantly motivated to accomplish such a feat. I had donated blood only twice then. But in the many years I have donated blood around only 7-8 times. I blacked out completely 5-6 times! When I didn’t I had dizziness and a lot of uneasiness. Only once have I have been able to donate blood without any discomfort. Surprisingly this was when I had lost 10 kilos of weight toucing a record minimum of 55. I was without a job at Bangalore for 5 months. The last time I donated blood or rather attempted ‘unsuccessfuly’ was at St John’s hospital when they took a mere 1cc of blood to test and I blacked out soonafter. I couldn’t donate blood and to make things worse I felt rather queasy the rest of the day. I haven’t donated ever since – I was told my blood might harm people! πŸ™

Does this mean donating blood is a painful experience? For me yes but for most it is an effortless task taking less than 20 mins. It takes good 40 minutes for me and I feel the very essence being taken out each time I donate blood. The after math I have already described! πŸ™‚ Where do you belong – well you won’t get to know if you don’t try! πŸ™‚

I donated blood for the first time when our tiffin wala in college came asking for A+ve. I knew mine was and happily volunteered. I had no idea how it would be – a govt hospital with little precaution taken. But I went nevertheless coz I have always believed nothing bad could happen to u doing some good. It took a significant bit of my will power to sustain through the act. When I was finally done they din’t give me any juice or such. I blacked out on a chair outside. I could feel the cold water being splashed on my face – took me a while to figure out where I was. Now I am pretty used to seeing shocked faces when I recover! πŸ™‚ That one was special as I felt really fresh and thought I should black out more often – it felt like a good 8 hour sleep! πŸ˜‰

It often bothers me that many out there could donate blood effortlessly but choose not to giving vague excuses – speaking incessantly about the common myths. I so wish I could do it as easily… Mebbe I will give it another try! πŸ™‚

Why should ‘one’ donate blood? What’s in it for him/her?

Good for health: Blood donation is good for the body(Do visit this link to convince urself). The body replenishes the stock in no time with fresh blood which is healthier. It’s like a filtering exercise. Reduces heart risks and also a free check on your blood! πŸ™‚ One pint of blood (450 ml) when donated burns 650 calories in donor’s body – decent work out huh!!! πŸ˜‰

Blood Loss: If you are a regular donor then your body is used to losing blood. God forbid, if you meet with an accident or suffer a severe hemorrhage you stand a better chance of surving the blood loss.

Save Live(s): Blood donated by you could ‘actually’ save someone’s life and that someone may very well be you! πŸ™‚ It helps more than one person at times – Each whole blood donation can help as many as three people. One unit is divided into three parts: red blood cells, platelets, and plasma.

A great deed once every 3 months: Other noble acts of donating organs are once in lifetime opportunities… But blood you can donate all your life so long as you are healthy! πŸ™‚

There is a need, a dire need!!! Especially in summers there is a shortage in blood banks as the college students and such are on vacation who form the largest group of blood donors. Many like me don’t qualify – several girls I know are interested but underweight. If you have suffered from any disease you don’t qualify to donate. Any good blood bank won’t let you donate blood easily and would be very fuzzy about it. So the net potential donors are very few. The number of people interested in donating blood is shamefully low – only 3% of India’s eligible population donates their blood. The myths surrounding the subject scares most people away!!! Dispel some of them!

Some blood bank return patients without blood if they can’t find replacements. People have lost lives due to this!!!

You may choose to be a registered donor but if the blood is already in a bank it may speed up things in critical cases. Blood banks charge only the processing fee and do not make profit out of this. You can get the names of some good blood banks from Sankalp. If you are not even registered what are you waiting for – some close relative/friend to succumb to lack of blood supply in the hour of need??? πŸ™‚

If you fear you will undergo the same experience that I did – well I can only tell you that I am glad I did it and continued doing it despite the troubles. The wonderful feeling that comes along is something you would need to experience for yourself. It was so totally worth it. I think I miss it and I am doing it yet again! Let me see if the 20 kms of cycling and an hour of swimming has done me any good! πŸ™‚

Author Details

Mayank Rungta

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