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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 43-44

Tears do not save lives but blood does: giving life to the moribund


Department of Pharmacology, Goa College of Pharmacy, Panjim, Goa, India

Date of Submission08-May-2016
Date of Acceptance09-May-2016
Date of Web Publication21-Oct-2016

Correspondence Address:
Nagesh Kamat
Department of Pharmacology, Goa College of Pharmacy, Panjim 403001, Goa
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1687-1693.192650

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How to cite this article:
Kamat N. Tears do not save lives but blood does: giving life to the moribund. Al-Azhar Assiut Med J 2016;14:43-4

How to cite this URL:
Kamat N. Tears do not save lives but blood does: giving life to the moribund. Al-Azhar Assiut Med J [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Dec 17];14:43-4. Available from: http://www.azmj.eg.net/text.asp?2016/14/2/43/192650

People of all ages nowadays donate liver, kidneys, pancreas, and eyes to their near and dear ones. However, when it comes to donating blood why do not people commit? Accidents and medical emergency are unpredictable and can occur at any time; thus, there is requirement for blood every minute and every day of the year. Blood may be needed as a result of injury, arising medical need, treatment of blood-related disorders, etc. Blood banks all over the world are facing scarcity of rare blood groups. According to the WHO, India alone faces a shortage of about 3 million units and the need is around 12 million units. People often exchange blood for money but do not donate voluntarily.

Improvements in blood screening have reduced the risk of transmitting disease [1], and patients now receive the safest possible blood products. One’s medical condition will determine whether or not one can donate [2]. Blood is tested for many diseases − mainly, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV [3]. Trauma, accidents, and internal bleeding are major causes of death in hospitals. Thalassemia, hemophilia, and sickle cell anemia patients need transfusion more often than others [4]. Major surgeries need at least 2–3 pints of blood. If patients do not have enough money to spend for disease state then how would they pay for blood? One has nothing to lose by donating blood. Saving the life of an individual is the best thing one can do in this world, and if it can be done by donating blood then one has to do it routinely.

People are busy with their work, often playing solitaire on the computer or making unnecessary phone calls, but none have enough time to donate blood. The lifespan of red blood cells (RBC) is usually 120 days. Hence, even if blood is not donated, the old, damaged RBC is removed from the blood by spleen and new RBC is generated by the bone marrow. The shelf life of donated blood is around 35–42 days. A healthy adult has around 10 U of blood in his body, and during donation about 1 U is given.

The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. We are all dependent on one another. One need not always donate blood to loved ones and family. The majority of patients die in the medical emergency due to shortage of blood. Hence, one should never miss an opportunity to donate blood. One should not wait until it is too late for someone to know how much you love them; for when they are gone, they would not be able to hear you anymore. Discover the goodness within you by donating blood. Blood is a precious resource. It is meant to circulate; hence, donate.

Blood is that fragile scarlet tree we carry within us. Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. Find a need and fill it. Do your best, and be a little better than you are. Do not save anything for a special occasion; staying alive is the special occasion. You do not have to be a doctor to save lives.

Without blood donors, many patients simply would not be alive today. The blood donated could give someone another chance to live, and that someone could be a friend, a close relative, a loved one, or even you. Blood costs nothing to give, yet it is more valuable and precious than any other resource on earth. Awareness of voluntary blood donations needs to be increased and promotions for the same can be carried out routinely through hoardings, electronic media, and print media. All it costs is a little love. It is a generous gift that one can share. Always try to donate blood and save precious lives.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
Tabor E, Epstein JS. NAT screening of blood and plasma donations: evolution of technology and regulatory policy. Transfusion 2002;42:1230–1237.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.
Busch MP, Dodd RY. NAT and blood safety: what is the paradigm? Transfusion 2000;40:1157–1160.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Kleinman S. Donor screening procedures. In: Petz L, Swisher S, Kleinman S, Spence RK, Strauss RG. editors. Clinical practice of transfusion medicine. 3rd ed. New York, NY: Churchill-Livingstone; 1996: 245. Kleinman S. Donor screening procedures. In: Petz L, Swisher S, Kleinman S Spence RK, Strauss RG.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Seifried E, Roth WK. Optimal blood donation screening annotation. Br J Haematol 2000;109:694–698.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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