A young 17 year old student going to college for an exam was rushed to the Emergency after an accident on the highway, with a truck running over his pelvis and both lower limbs.
A young 25 year old, brought to the Emergency with a history of gunshot wound to the abdomen, and bleeding profusely.
A 65 year old elderly female, wheeled into the Emergency with profuse bleeding from a cancer which had spread to a large artery in the neck.
A young 29 year old female, recently married, rushed to the Emergency with acute pain in abdomen and diagnosed to be a ruptured ectopic pregnancy with massive hemoperitoneum (pregnancy outside the uterus, with large blood collection in the abdominal cavity).
A 53 year old male, local politician brought to the emergency after vomiting large quantity of blood.
All of these above mentioned patients are just few of the examples of the clinical cases I’ve witnessed and managed over the years, and are a common daily routine for Emergency departments all across the world.
A thing common to all of them was that they were all brought in a very critical condition – either with a very high or a low heart rate, low or non recordable blood pressure, breathing difficulty, confusion (alterations in mental status), cold limbs, and other clinical signs – all pointing towards varying degrees of life threatening shock – which can rapidly become fatal, even with immediate medical attention.
Another thing common to them was that they all survived – because they all received the timely ‘Gift of Live’ – Blood.
Every year millions of lives are being saved because of donation of blood and blood products. Apart from life threatening conditions like accidents & trauma, blood donation supports various major surgical, complex medical procedures (like patients with cancers related procedures such as chemotherapy, pregnancy complications, and those with blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and hemophilia), etc.
To state few facts about the requirement of blood in India – At every 2 second someone somewhere needs the blood – Every day more than 38,000 blood donations are needed – Each year a total of 3 crore blood components are transfused – On an average, we requires 5 crore units of blood every year. Unfortunately, only a meager of 2.5 Crore unit of blood is available.
Patients always thank doctors, appreciate hospitals. But seldom do we recognize and appreciate the vital role of the unsung heroes when in need – The Blood Donors and the Blood Bank staff.
On this occasion of ‘World Blood Donors Day’ today, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all of them, without whom it would not be possible to save the many lives that we do in emergency (and in hospitals), and encourage the masses to be a blood donor.
After all, there is no substitute present for human blood.
Donate blood, save a life.