Tibet Charity Blood Donors Club was started with the sole intention of providing blood for transfusions to patients at very short notice. Such a club is needed in the region because there is no blood bank in Dharamsala. The nearest blood bank is located around one hour’s drive from here but they will not give out blood unless a replacement donor is provided on the spot to replenish their supply.
Before we set up the Blood Donor’s Club, people in need of blood transfusions had no resource to turn to; they had to spread their request by word of mouth, or by putting up posters in public and even by standing at the side of the road holding a sign. There was of course no guarantee that they would find a suitable donor in time which put the patients’ lives at risk.
We created the resource that was lacking. We have compiled a database of available blood donors, people who are willing to go to the hospital at short notice and donate blood directly to the patients in need. Now patients and their families are saved the uncertainty of searching for a donor on their own. What’s more direct blood transfusions, those from person to person, are safer than transfusions that use stored supplies.
Our role is restricted to working as a bridge between donors and patients. Beyond this we are not involved in the collection or storage of blood, or in analyzing the blood for possible diseases. This is the responsibility of the hospital. They call us when a transfusion is needed and we send a suitable donor to the hospital. We look after the donors too; when necessary we provide the transport to get them to the hospital and any other support they might need.
Through this scheme we are also educating the local people about the benefits of donating blood and dispelling their fear about the health risks involved.
The Blood Donors Club was officially launched on 14th June 2012, World Blood Donor Day.
The Blood Donors Club is a simple, yet highly beneficial, idea which could benefit people at the community level in many countries. If you want to start your own scheme we will be glad to share our expertise with you.
IMPROVES HEART HEALTH
Donating blood improves your overall cardiovascular health. Increased level of iron in the blood raises the chance of heart disease. Regularly donating blood helps males in particular to reduce the amount of iron in the blood. This can reduce the chance of heart attack by 88%. Additionally, regular blood donation can lower the risk of severe cardiovascular events such as stroke by 33%.
ENHANCES THE PRODUCTION OF NEW BLOOD CELLS
When blood is withdrawn, the donor’s body immediately begins to replenish the lost blood. New cells are produced by marrow within 48 hours of donation, and all of the red blood cells the donor loses during donation are completely replaced within one to two months. Therefore, donating blood helps to stimulate the production of new blood cells. This process of replenishment can help your body stay healthy and work more efficiently.
Donating blood on a regular basis can also improve fitness. Donating one pint of blood (450 ml) burns 650 calories in donor’s body.
ENHANCES FEELING OF WELL BEING IN THE ELDERLY
Many elderly people who are in good health have reported feeling invigorated and reenergized by giving blood on a regular basis.
REDUCES CANCER RISK
Give blood to help lower your risk of cancer. According to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center, consistent blood donation is associated with lowered risks of cancers, including liver, lung, colon, stomach and throat cancers. Risk levels drop in correlation with how often participants donate blood.
FREE HEALTH SCREENING DONE
In addition to all of these benefits, a donor receives a free prior health screening plus mini blood test. There will be an HB level test, as well as a blood pressure and body check. Blood is also tested for some major diseases and the donor is immediately informed in strict confidentiality if any of these tests show positive results.
By donating blood, many lives are saved and hope is given to many whose situation may otherwise be hopeless. Blood donors give such patients a second lease of life.
BRINGS JOY TO MANY
When you donate blood, you impact not only the patient whose life may depend on your donation, but also all those who depend on that patient. The entire community will benefit from the spirit of generosity.