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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Blood Donation

BY THE EDITOR

Blood is the essence of life without which all living beings will cease to exist. Human body contains vast network of blood vessels- arteries, veins, and capillaries- which are parts of the circulatory system carrying streams of blood. The average person has between 4 and 6 quarts of blood continually in circulation which performs various tasks in keeping the body strong and healthy. For all these functions blood is called the stream of life. The liquid part of the blood is called plasma containing 90 per cent water and so it is thin and clear but many solid chemical materials are dissolved in it. Solid chemicals include forms of calcium which build bones and potassium needed by the heart and muscles. Plasma contains salt which makes the blood taste salty. Other contents are sugar and tiny drops of fat which serve as fuels for the body’s cells. Proteins in the blood play a vital role in building and repairing cells and act as antibodies in fighting certain disease- causing invaders of the body. Hormones are proteins that control the work of different parts of the body. Blood groups are called A, B, O and AB that are based on the presence or absence of certain protein molecules in the blood.

   Blood donation has numerous health benefits for the donor like reducing risk of heart disease and cancer, improving blood flow and maintaining healthy iron levels in the body which enhance psychological well-being. Donors should be healthy and fit above 18 years of age as well as free from contagious diseases and they can donate blood once every three months. Donating blood also helps in detecting certain health conditions such as anaemia or infectious diseases which may otherwise go unnoticed. According to estimates, someone in India needs blood every two seconds. Due to non-availability of blood over 12,000 in the country die every day. Timely access to safe blood is also a big problem and hence blood donation is a life-saving exercise. India is the most populous nation in the world and number of patients requiring blood transfusion is also proportionately high which therefore poses great challenge to healthcare. Another hurdle is that many people develop fear psychosis in donating blood which is groundless.

   Experts also underline the importance of safe blood transfusion practices. They maintain that it is very crucial and significant to have proper and effective screening technology like Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) for ensuring safety and integrity of blood supply. Great precautionary measures are needed to prevent Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTIs) which come with blood transfusion. Prioritizing the mandatory implementation of such screening technologies, proper storage and transportation conditions are of paramount importance in safeguarding purity and safety of donated blood.

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