It’s been several years of talking to young, not so young, prospective first-time, voluntary first-time and repeat blood donors. There have been heart warming tales, some matter-of fact responses and some plain rude ones.
A look at some of the attitudes towards blood donation threw up some interesting information. Despite the numerous drives organised by various blood banks, blood donation is yet to become a habit in this part of the world.
The most frequent reason cited for not donating blood is that the person was not asked, and the second was that he/she had not thought about blood donation nor had the opportunity arisen. A young techie remarked that it was an eye-opener to him that blood banks “needed” donors and blood. He and many of his peer group had always been under the impression that banks were always well stocked and that it was “only in a one-off situation” that the hunt for donors began.
Until synthetic blood becomes a reality, we still require this life-giving liquid from human volunteers. If everyone between the ages of 18-60 decided to find out if they were eligible to donate blood and donated blood to any good blood bank, no one would die for want of blood. Blood donation has been cited as an example of true altruism in action.
None of us knows when we might go under a surgeon’s knife. Wouldn’t we too be more relieved if we knew we didn’t have to hunt around for donors at the final hour? Wouldn’t we be far more relaxed if we knew that blood banks were adequately stocked with screened and safe blood through the year?