Comfortable with replacement - who needs voluntary blood donation?

Despite being an institution of repute and a medical hub in the southern part of Bangalore city, their views towards voluntary blood donation are unfortunate.

Everyday at-least 25-30 patients are forced to go out in search of a blood donor. Everyday, even in this age of a vast array of tools to find a donor, helpless families linger in search of a hero to save their loved one. Sometimes there are desperate calls for a unit of B positive and O positive replacement donors in nearby offices and colleges. Sankalp has been trying its best to reduce this burden on the patients - but it needs support, commitment and a desire to change from the institution, all of which are missing.

At-least once and sometimes even twice a month, our Rakta Kranti team reaches out to them to offer blood donation drives. On a rare occasion, they do accept to come for a drive and collect a few units. However, 8 times out of 10, they have a reason not to come. What reasons could they be? Please have a look for yourself: We need to give 25% of collection to government hospitals. We do not want to do camps.

  1. We need to process blood components after the camp. It takes a lot of time. We will pause camps for a while.
  2. We have a camp next month, so we cannot do one in this month.
  3. We cannot travel as far as 10km in traffic for a camp. Can donors come here and donate?

Why then should this institution have a blood bank? Should hundreds of patients continue to suffer just because a few individuals running the show do not want to travel some distance? While they themselves do not want to come for voluntary blood donation camps, they still believe in forcing the patient's family to get 'donors' and not voluntarily donated blood units from other blood banks.

The attitude of team and setup there is stark contrast to the policies and fundamentals of voluntary blood donation. Any hopes of 100% voluntary blood donation have no chance till this willfulness stops. What is most appalling is that there is a wide difference between the official view which the institutions shares at the public forums and the view in practice within their own hospital.

Can they pause for a moment and look within?
Sankalp Unit
Patrika Section