Towards Blood Donation Camps in the Neighborhoods

Tejinder Singh Bedi
6 min readSep 3, 2018

Towards Blood Donation Camps in the Neighborhoods

Tejinder Singh Bedi
@tsinghbedi

Donating blood is one of the easiest and the simplest way of a give back to the humanity and the society. When donated without concerns as to who the end user or recipient may be — it becomes a completely selfless giveaway. When we donate blood at the government approved and licenced blood banks or we draw blood for our personal needs or the needs of our suffering relations and friends, we in both the situations hardly ever know as to who will use the unit we are donating or whose donated unit is going to save us on the day of our needs. Many among us have had the need to receive an infusion of blood in emergencies and serious illnesses but it is extremely difficult to realize if it has come from a saint or even a criminal or a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or a Christian. In fact, donating a unit of the blood is the easiest, quickest and the cheapest form of social service and perhaps cheaper than even the cost of a free langar offered for a hungry soul. And on top of it, no special effort is required by the body to replenish it fast enough

“Tum Mujhe Khoon Do, Main Tumhein Azadi Dunga” — a slogan given by our legendary freedom fighter leader Netaji Subash Chandra Bose echoes in our minds even today. But in today’s context when we are already ‘azaad’ — the slogan needs to be recalled when we need to collect and donate the precious human blood for including the most wanting needs of our soldiers from the defense and the paramilitary forces and the poorest of the poor who in utmost dire needs of the time can’t even buy a drop of blood. Just one unit of the blood has the potential of saving three or even more lives. Besides, it is good both for the heart as well as the liver and not only lowers the risk of cancer but covers up to an extent for loss of a work-out too!

In a way, it is also an opportunity of a primary medical examination of each potential donor as all the donors are thoroughly and carefully checked for Blood Pressure, Weight, Height, BMI (Body Mass Index), Hemoglobin level, Blood Sugar, Malaria, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Rh Typing and Blood Grouping, HIV I & HIV II.

It was a great pleasure to organize my third Blood Donation Camp and the first in Noida at Felix Hospital in Sector 137 yesterday. Being a newly developing belt of the city of Noida with the majority of the inhabitants’ first-time residents of the city from various parts of NCR and other States in the widely dispersed upcoming societies — reaching across for the call was only possible through the Whats App Groups. One best way to reach across in the increasing days of fake news service and consumption. Being the first collective effort of a few residents, for a new area it has worked as a good culture change infusion beyond collaborations for festivities, kite- flying and gossip sessions and one hopes more and more people will pursue such initiatives in the coming times. All in all the limited edition offered lots of fun bringing back some treasured friends together after long! The climax of the camp yesterday was to quickly offer an AB+ rare donor’s blood for a patient almost on a deathbed fighting for depleting platelet count of even lesser than 10000. Another highlight was the discovery of new-found women power in getting first-timers Sonal Katyal and Tamanna Talwar — who enjoyed the experience and vowed to be regular future donors too! And one donor as passionate as Mukesh Soni; driving down all the way from Gurugram in an inclement weather condition all the way to the extreme corner of Noida in Sector 137, something people shred even to commute over a whine & dine session. Participation of the members of the local 137 Gurdawara Group including Sarabjit Singh, Satveer Singh and the 78 neighborhood family of Sonal Katyal & Varun Madan remained most enthusiastic. My son Jasmeet Bedi played his low profile silent role as ever admirably bringing the AB+ donor on the step within minutes! Among the masculine powers, Mayank Sharma & Rakesh Bhatt too became committed first timers. And, gladly all the first timers had overshot their teen years only recently.

Dr. D K Gupta- Chairman(Felix), Dr. Rashmi Gupta-Director(Felix) at the inaugurals with the first donor

Due credit also goes to Sanjeev Khullar who along with Suman Pareek coordinated all the logistics with the medical and paramedical team of the Felix hospital including among other support staff, Subodh Sharma, Kalyan Bhati, Rajiv Kumar Mishra and Anshuma. The thorough diligence with which each donor was examined by the medicos stood out for their professional training. Neha Joshi from Felix collaborated excellently for the registration dashboards. The hospital staff was quick to issue Donor Cards. a Certificate of Appreciation and a small memento to each donor in recognition of their noble service.

As I look forward to organizing more camps of this nature in the near future, I am consolidating some most important basic donor guidelines for the benefit of future donors.

Basic Eligibility Requirements: Any donor, who is healthy, fit & not suffering from any transmittable diseases can donate blood. Donors have to be between 18 to 60 years of age with a minimum body weight of 50 kgs. Donor’s Hemoglobin level has to be 12.5% or more. Every donor can donate blood again after 3 months after the last donation. Pulse rate and BP for Donors have to be within acceptable ranges without any irregularities as certified by the Medical Staff in attendance and the body temperature has to be normal and oral temperature not exceeding 37.5 degree Celsius or 98.4-degree Fahrenheit.

The Non-Eligibility Conditions: Those suffering from Cardiac issues, hypertension, kidney alignments, epilepsy or diabetics, and HIV + are not accepted as donors. Ladies with a bad miscarriage should also avoid donating blood for the next 6 months. Donors who have already donated blood or have been treated for malaria within the last three months or have undergone any immunization within the past one month are also not allowed to donate. If a donor has consumed alcohol within the last 24 hours, he/she is not eligible to donate blood. Donors who have had a dental work or had a major dental procedure must share these details with the Doctor/Para Medical Staff before offering blood.

Preparation for Donating Blood: It is better to prepare oneself by having some fruit juice and water in the night and in the morning before one wishes to donate blood.

Blood should not be donated on an empty stomach and it is better to have a meal at least three hours before the actual time of blood donation. Fatty foods must be avoided and portions rich in iron must be included in the meal. If a donor has had a major surgery — a minimum gap of six months must be maintained before venturing for a blood donation.

Post Donation Care: Minimum 5 to 20 minutes rest is advisable after a donation. It is also better to avoid driving after a donation. Some snacks and juice with high sugar content help to rejuvenate the blood sugar back-up, which should be followed by a good meal with high protein content. Consumption of alcohol is also to be avoided for 8 hours after the donation of blood and it is also desirable to avoid going for heavy body works such as gym, dancing, running etc at least for the next 24 hours.

How to Relieve & Relax: While being needled to draw blood, the donor must relax to the maximum, and have a deep breath. There is hardly any pain by the prick and any fears on this count must be psychologically overcome. One can also try to distract oneself from the process by having a chewing gum, listening to some music or watching an entertaining TV program. The points shared are very broadly generic only and the advice of the qualified team of doctors/para-medicals conducting the donations must be strictly adhered to.

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Tejinder Singh Bedi

(*Author Tejinder Singh Bedi is a former technocrat, a people management, CSR Adviser, free-lance writer and a passionate singer)