Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blood must circulate

By one estimate, India needs about 10 million units (1 unit = 450 ml) of blood for transfusion every year; considering that the USA uses up around 14 million units annually, the figure for India is possibly much higher. Most of the requirement in the USA is met through voluntary collections, but in India, they contribute less than 50%. Though the figure for Tamil Nadu is higher, at 82%, voluntary blood donation is still something that many people have misconceptions about: they are therefore rather apprehensive about going to a blood bank to donate blood.

Across Chennai, there are about 40 blood banks, government run and private, that together collect about a quarter of a million units of blood annually. Even allowing for weekends and bank holidays, that's roughly 25 units every day at each blood bank; in a city of about 7 million people, less than 5% donate blood in a year. With the demand for blood far outstripping supply, it is a challenge to encourage blood donation. To make it easy for potential donors, several agencies have created mobile blood banks to go around the city, taking the message of blood donation to the people. The pattern is more or less the same - a multimedia show about how blood donation is useful and even healthy for the donor, register the volunteers, do a basic screen and collect a unit of blood. The vehicles must get each day's collection back to the bank, because they only have the collection and storage facilities on board. The high-tech work of screening and storing the blood still happens at centralised locations.

The shape and the overall look of this collection vehicle of the Lions Blood Bank is probably intended to give the process a completely high tech feel!


If you were looking for blood banks in Chennai, this site has useful information

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heard about this blog in a casual conversation... In a cold snowy corner of the world, a reference came up about a sharp, intelligent guy with a quick wit and a flashy smile.

Curious? Time to ransack the memory cells, to invoke memories from years ago... 18 of them to be precise...

When you walked into Petroleum house for your first Job, shivering in the cold fines of the production room...

Shantaram said...

@ Anonymous: Certainly curious! Most of your comment is true (especially the end of para 1), but I was never in 'Petroleum House'.... ??!!?

(And I do hope you identify yourself if/when you respond to this!)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely apologize then... I was hoping you were the one at PH of HPCL...

The true profile photo gave me hopes too, that there was a match for who i was looking for...

Great Blogs though Shantaram!, I lived in Madras for two years and these entries seem to capture a beauty i somehow missed!

Shantaram said...

@ Anonymous: Hey, no need to apologise! Am glad you came by and enjoyed the blog. Hope it inspires you to come back to Chennai ;)