Emergency Team - the roads taken

Submitted by sankalp on Fri, 24-Jan-2014 - 12:51

Sankalp started 10 years back with the intent to help people who are facing difficulty arranging for blood in emergencies. That responsibility now rests with the emergency team of the organisation. In those days the challenge was to organise for blood for the patients who were sent out of the blood banks to look for donors. Replacement requests, negative group requests and seasonal shortages kept us busy. Those were the days when an AB-ve request was considered a challenge.  Then came the era of single donor platelets. The team pioneered voluntary SDP and was the first in Bangalore to convince people to come forward for a donation which took 90 minutes in the blood bank.

Bombay blood group till about 4 years back was something very rare and unusual for the organisation. Theoretically, it was known that only 1 in 17,000 had this type. Several years forward, today, Sankalp handles almost 1 such request every week. Bombay blood group has been an important area of focus when it comes to learning and plan of action. Last year, when a patient in Istanbul suffering from cancer could not manage to get a single unit of Bombay blood within the country, they knocked the doors in India and it was Sankalp that came forward for the help of needy and the necessary units were arranged at once and shipped to Turkey.

Days later the team again got an international call, this time from South East Asia. And this time the unit was made available in Singapore saving time in a critical accident case. At this juncture the volunteers felt the need to organise the Bombay Blood group donor community and bring them together at one single forum. This led to birth of www.bombaybloodgroup.org. The site - one of its kind meant only for these special life savers - is up and running.

While Disha team ensured that most blood requests were satisfied with the existing stocks in blood banks, the Emergency Team was provided with the necessary bandwidth to manage the more difficult of the blood requests. Unfortunately we had an extensive dengue season this year escalating the need for platelets. The mosquito bites wrecked the health facility of the entire country. According to the Government records, 2013 was one of the worst hit by dengue.

This year also marked the end of promotion of emergency blood donation databases at Sankalp. The organisation decided that there were enough databases maintained already and there was no need to keep another group of people waiting for the right opportunity to donate blood. Donate blood when you can was adopted as the mantra.

Happy New Year!