The blood shortage during the summer months is a problem plaguing us from time unknown. The plummeting stocks of blood at the blood banks have always raised serious concern and like always the Rakta Kranti team of Sankalp India Foundation has been battling for organizing regular voluntary blood donation drives to meet the summer shortage.
Sankalp had made a solemn vow 15 years back that no patient should die or suffer due to lack of blood and like every year we are ready to fight the critical shortage period. 50 voluntary blood drives have been organized in the two months of April and May, 2018 collecting 3709 units of blood.
The crisis situation is alarming every year. The increase in demand far out spaces the increase in voluntary blood donation. It is important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled in advance, but this situation can be replenished when generous voluntary blood donors roll up their sleeves to donate blood. These donations help to ensure that blood products are available for patients undergoing critical surgeries; patients suffering from thalassaemia, during the process of child birth, for cancer patients and the list go on and on…
The blood banks across the city lack the process of better planning of blood drives throughout the year. Focusing on the critical periods of blood shortage plays a very important role rather than clustering drives on the days of National importance. This causes a serious imbalance in the blood stocks and brings along with it sufferings and misery for the patients and their family members.
On one hand, we are running a mission to “STOP REPLACEMENT” of blood stocks in the hospital by professional donors or replacement based donors and achieving 100% Voluntary Blood Donation by 2020 and on the other hand due to lack of effective planning of Voluntary Blood Drives during the summer months, the blood banks reel under the blood shortage forcing and harassing patients and their family members to seek replacement based blood donations. This is a vicious cycle in which the response to one difficulty creates a new problem that aggravates the original difficulty.
Further to add to the scenario, the challenges have been very explicit. The election campaigns during the summer months this year have severely hampered public blood donation drives. Corporate Bodies are often reluctant to understand the gravity of the situation and hence do not provide adequate support to Blood Banks or Foundations organizing Voluntary Blood Donation drives. The common misconception among donors that donating blood in the summer months lead to more exhaustion also decreases the donor turnout in blood drives.
Summer months are historically the most difficult for blood centers with students on a break from university/colleges and donors away vacationing. But of course, the need for blood never stops.
Now the question is- how do we fight this period of blood shortage? The answer is very simple. Voluntary Blood Donation is the need of the hour. Spread this message around, creating awareness and sensitizing people that human blood cannot be manufactured. Another human being has to donate it.
Take the charge of organizing Voluntary Blood Donation in your college, office, apartments. Stand up and be counted. “Make Blood Donation your Responsibility”.