We at Sankalp India Foundation get numerous blood requests. We are uniquely positioned in a sense that we tend to get the more difficult to manage blood requests - rare blood groups, difficult situations, timings, lesser known components etc. Over the years as the number of requests has increased, the good news is that we find it easier to handle the most difficult of situations. No prizes for guessing our biggest strength - the most committed, passionate people - the blood donors! So, when you get to celebrate the World Blood Donor Day in the august company of the Bombay Blood Group donors, it just can't get any better.
Sankalp India Foundation celebrated the World Blood Donor Day by organising the Bombay Blood Group Donor's Meet. With more than 1 blood request for Bombay Blood Group coming to the organisation from all across the nation every week, the last few years have seen the strengthening of BombayBloodGroup.Org - a platform for blood donors, family members, blood banks and medical experts related to Bombay blood group to come together. Bombay Blood Group Donor's Meet is a much awaited event every few months which enables the people associated with this rare blood group to come together and meet - laying down the roadmap to ensure no one suffers due to shortage of this rare blood group.
Thanks to the ever continuedsupport and encouragement of Dr Sundar Periyavan, we organised the meeting at the seminar hall at NIMHANS. This year in a small way in-line with our limited capacity but with all the warmth in the heart and true appreciation for the blood donors who stand as strong pillars to the structured approach to manage rare blood group requests we thanked the Bombay blood group donors for their gift of life. We missed several of our special fiends who could not make it to the meet as we cherished the company of 6 very special Bombay Group friends.
Bombay blood group meet serves the purpose of exchange of knowledge and updates on the best strategies to ensure most judicious use of Bombay blood group while ensuring timely availability. It also gives an opportunity to the donors to share concerns, share experiences and find answers to their questions. One of the donors shared a painful experience he went through. This donors contact number is available publicly and earlier this year he received a call from the family member of a child who was awaiting treatment at one of the reputed hospitals in Bangalore. The family made an emotional appeal to him to donate blood and he readily agreed to come over and donate. In consultation with the family and the blood bank and as advised by them, the next day he went and donated blood. Because of some reason, the donors did not proceed to transfuse the blood unit. Unfortunately the patient did not survive. The child's family started blaming the donor accusing him of coming too late to donate blood. The donor felt bad. Voluntary blood donation strives to achieve anonymity between the donor and the patient and for very good reasons. While this is being secured by the voluntary blood donor movement all across the world, for the rare blood groups often there is a direct interaction between the donor and the family of the recipients. On one hand the family members of the patients impose huge amount of emotional pressure on the donor to donate whether (s)he is eligible or not and on the other, experiences like the one shared above have often been associated with regular blood donors shying away from donating blood in future. BombayBloodGroup.Org on one hand strives to ensure that no needy suffers but it also seeks to protect the donors from undue harassment by the families of the patients.
The experience in building a Bombay Blood group network across Karnataka has paid rich dividends. Sankalp unveiled the plans to extend this network to blood banks beyond Karnataka in a phase wise manner. We look forward to building a nation wide network so that we are able to ensure judicious and optimal utilisation of each unit of rare blood group while ensuring that each patient gets blood on time.