Blood: What you must know?

Blood is life. It has yet to be created. Till now, only a human body creates it to give to another human. It brings smiles to those patients who receive it and have their lives saved ! Now, let’s delve  into its use in the life-saving process.

acute blood shortage

It supplies oxygen to cells and tissues. It supplies essential nutrients to cells, such as amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose. It removes carbon dioxide, urea and lactic acid (waste products) Its white blood cells have antibodies which defend us from infection and foreign bodies.

Blood transfusions save more than 25,000 to 30,000 lives each year. It’s estimated that blood is needed every 15 minutes (based on 150 pints of blood used everyday), and it would be great to know if there are statistics on out of how many people entering the hospital will need blood. Since blood cannot be manufactured or purchased it can only come from volunteer donors like you.

Currently there are about 85% of non-remunerated blood donors in Mauritius. We hope by 2020, 100% will be blood donors. The 15% are replacement blood donors.

Depending on patient need, your blood donation may be separated into several different components that may be used to treat a variety of medical conditions or illnesses. In fact, the majority of blood is not used by accident victims, but for everyday needs such as cancer treatments, orthopedic surgeries, cardiovascular surgery, dialysis patients, thalassemia patients and blood disorders such as anemia or sickle cell disease. Blood is separated into components so that several patients may benefit from one blood donation. These are the most common uses for the different blood components:


Red Blood Cells

Red Blood Cells:   RBC remove carbon dioxide from your body, transporting it to the lungs for you to exhale. Red blood cells are made inside your bones, in the bone marrow. They typically live for about 120 days, and then they die.

The most frequently transfused component. Treatment of chronic anemia resulting from disorders such as kidney failure, malignancy or gastrointestinal bleeding, and congestive heart failure. Treatment to raise the hematocrit or hemoglobin levels without raising blood volume (such as with elderly patients) and to replenish acute blood loss resulting from surgery or an accident.

Platelets: Treatments for leukemia (blood cancer) and other cancers. We advised and urged you to become platelets donors. A person can give platelets 24 times in a year. Platelets are tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding. If one of your blood vessels gets damaged, it sends out signals that are picked up by platelets. The platelets then rush to the site of damage and form a plug, or clot, to repair the damage.

Plasma: The liquid portion of blood that contains proteins that help treat severe bleeding problems. Blood plasma is a yellowish coloured liquid component of blood that normally holds the blood cells in whole blood in suspension ; this makes plasma the extracellular matrix of blood cells. It makes up about 55% of the body’s total blood volume.

Cryoprecipitate: A component of plasma that contains blood clotting proteins. It is used to treat or prevent bleeding disorders such as hemophiliac. It may also be used as a hemostatic preparation in surgery.


Bambous Blood Donors Association: Success Story in life-saving Services

~By Dewanand Hossen
(Extract BDA Magazine 2007 – Edited)

The Bambous Blood Donors Association was created in 2003. It is affiliated with the Blood Donors Association (Mauritius). It was created with the aim  to help the inhabitants of the village  to promote, organise blood donation and to help patients whose lives depend on blood. Besides, blood has no barriers, no religion and is one colour. It is a ray of hopes for our patients. So, our association has  rays of  people from different background who together is a binding force in the life-saving services.

Our Association regroups some 200 – 250 members and more than 75% are blood donors as well and donate blood regularly on an average of two to three times every year. We organize blood donation twice yearly. A donor becomes a member of the association when  he/she gives blood  in our blood  drives. There are no fees or subscription to pay. Our donors  and their blood group are  recorded in a database.

We started with 37 pints for the first time. It then increased to 76 pints in the second blood drive to reach 166 pints in October 2006. On 1st October 2017, we collected 134 pints and 41 were not able to give. We organised our blood collections in collaboration with West Civic Association, Kailashnath Mandir and during Easter, we  associate ourselves as well with Bambous Church (Eglise St Sauveur). They collect around 150 – 175 on average every year.

We are proud that our small village … but with big hearts who help the community by saving their lives.

We hope, others can be inspired by our example for this selfless service by hosting, sensitizing people on the importance of blood and blood donation, that is why it is important to give blood. If this is being done island-wise,  there  will not be blood shortages in our country and together working with National Blood Transfusion Service, we can safely and surely attain the target of 100% non-remunerated voluntary blood donors. We need the younger generations to come forward and save lives by donating blood.

After all,  blood is the liquid love. Share it to those in need so that they can also enjoy a sound and healthy life.  If you want my help, you can contact me on 5756 0077 or email me:


The donation process of blood donation

The donation process

Giving blood is simple and it saves lives. When you give blood, it is collected so it can be used to treat someone else.  Life-threatening patients lives depend on you. Thank you for taking your time and effort to give blood.

For most people, giving blood is easy and follows the simple steps listed below.

Before you give blood

  1. Ensure you are able to give blood: you are in good health and age between 18 to 60 (65 years old can give blood if donor is giving  at least once yearly after 60 years), not taking any non-prescribed drugs and has a healthy life style etc. See below, Donor-Information0001
  2. Come to blood bank or any sub-offices at regional hospitals: Ag. Jeetoo (Port Louis), Central Flacq Hospital, SSR Hospital (Pamplemousses), JN Hospital (Rose Belle) and NBTS – Candos.You can also attend Mobile Blood Collections.
  3. You may wish to call on 427 7192 for further information

When you give blood

This is what will happen when you attend your appointment, or go to a drop-in session, to give blood. If you attend an appointment to give blood we aim to ensure it takes no more than an hour.

1. Welcome and preparation

We will ask you to read our Donor Information sheet(pdf) which explains the importance of blood safety. It’s important to read this whenever you attend because advice does change.  You will be given a Medical Questionnaire to fill.

2. Health screening

We make sure it is safe for you to donate, and that your blood donation is safe for a patient to receive.

  • We confirm your identity (mandatory ID Card) and ask you about the information on your donor health check form; a registered nurse may follow up if necessary.
  • We test a drop of blood from your finger to check the iron levels (haemoglobin) in your blood. If it meets the requirements that is: 13.5 g/dl for men and 12.5 g/dl for women)

If you are not able to donate we will explain why, and may ask you to make another appointment.

If you are able to donate you will be asked to wait for a few minutes  until you are called to a donate.

3. Your blood donation

When you are comfortable on the chair a nursing staff/phlebotomist will ask you to confirm your name, address and date of birth.

We examine your arm and place a cuff on your arm to maintain a small amount of pressure during donation (this does not measure blood pressure).

We then examine your arm to find a suitable vein and clean it with a swab/piece of cotton.

  1. We will insert a needle in your arm which will collect your blood into a blood bag with your unique donor number through a barcode.
  2. You should not feel any discomfort or pain. If you do, tell a member of staff.
  3. 450ml  of blood will be removed. This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.
  4. The needle will be removed and a sterile dressing applied to your arm.

4. Resting and Refreshments

  1. You are requested to wait for 15 minutes and will be given refreshments. This will help ensuring that before you leave donation area, you are  fine.
  2. As per the Donor Information sheet  guidelines,  if you smoke cigarettes, you are advised to abstained from smoking for at least 2 hours.
  3. Drink plenty of water or fruit juice. Abstain from coffee before and after giving blood.


For further information, please contact us: 427 0711/ 427 7192 / 424 0650 / 424 4766 / 5254 3932.

If you have any complaints: Call: 424 0650/ 424 4766 or 5254 3932. Email:

Why are there often blood shortages?

NBTS strives to maintain an optimum inventory level of at least 500 pints as buffer stocks. Due to unpredictable demands for trauma patients, the stock fluctuates.Accidents are in the increased. Cancer patients need blood, else they will die. There are other life-threatening conditions where many pints are needed. NBTS estimates that some 150 pints are needed on average every day. There is also the fact that young blood donors have also dropped. Blood bank needs more platelets, negative rhesus blood groups. The youth represents hope life savers and patients lives depend on them. Anybody can become a blood recipient, more than 20-30% probability that a person might require a blood transfusion. There are other reasons like holidays, religious festivals, winter when more people can get flu and can’t donate blood, during end of year festivities like Christmas & New Year. We get sporadic but acute blood shortages during the year from end of January till March and from August till October.

Ads Campaign to reach the youth

The youth represents a potential  segment that needs  continuous education, awareness and sensitization. The reasons why the younger generation  are less likely to donate blood are indifference, fear, fear of needles etc. Nevertheless,  there is an urgent need to keep them informed and this should be ongoing. Surveys done in UK, Sweden, USA has shown that  the reasons are the same. However, abroad, Blood Banks have better means and make proper use of  communication, advertising & marketing using  above and below the line media, Social Media etc. Unfortunately, apart from social media especially  Facebook, we don’t have such facilities.

However, we believe our Facebook supporters could be our voice. We hope to gather momentum gradually.

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What you must do if you ever feel fainting after donating blood ?

Blood donation is harmless and safe. There is hardly no risk in donating blood if a person is healthy and without any risk .

“Blood donation is one of the most significant contribution that a person can make towards the society. It is not harmful for an adult person to donate blood. The body of the donor can regenerate the blood within few days. It poses no threat to the metabolism of the body “.
– The World Blood Donor Day is observed on 14th June every year.

During a full blood donation, a person gives 450 ml of blood. That is about 10 percent of an adult’s blood volume. Giving this amount is safe and doesn’t typically cause any ill effects. A Man has on average 76 ml/ body weight and a woman has an average of 65ml/kg. Only one tenth or approximately   10 ml per kg is removed which is roughly about 450ml as mentioned  above.

Vasovagal reactions: Very rare a donor may feel some adverse of side reactions like: weakness, fainting, vomiting after donating blood. Vasovagal syncope occurs when the part of your nervous system that regulates heart rate and blood pressure malfunctions in response to a trigger, such as the sight of blood.

Recovery after a vasovagal episode generally begins in less than a minute. However, if you stand up too soon after fainting — within about 15 to 30 minutes — you’re at risk of fainting again.

Risks of adverse reactions can be increased by:

  • not having eaten
  • afraid or fear of  needles
  • lack of sleep
  • emotional stress (anxiety about the procedure, seeing blood or other donors giving blood)
  • being tired  (it is recommended that donor donate blood early morning so that they can recuperate during the day and avoid strenuous effort)
  • pain during the needle insertion

Fainting or a feeling of faintness or dizziness can be caused by a drop in blood pressure.

Always make sure you are healthy,  had a good sleep, at least 6 hours and have eaten  as well have had plenty of fluids (juice and/or water) before you give blood.


  • to drink plenty of fluids before and after giving blood, including on the day after making a donation;
  • to prefer lean and iron-rich food (red meat, liver, dark greens and colourful vegetables etc);
  • the best time to give blood is two or three hours after you have eaten;
  • if your blood pressure tends to be low, eat saltier food – increase your salt intake before and after the donation, as this will help raise your blood pressure;
  • to consume plenty of fluids after giving blood as well; NBTS give a small bottle of water, a small 200ml brik juice, a small pack of biscuit etc. It is important that you drink these liquids instead of bringing it back home !
  • to rest after giving blood, before you go on with your everyday activities, and let your body get used to the lower blood volume;
  • it’s advisable to avoid strenuous physical exertion on the day of the donation and the following day (working out, saunas, swimming) on the day you give blood and the day after.

Fainting while giving blood is usually caused by psychological factors, however.

To prevent this:

  • avert your eyes from the syringe and blood receptacle;
  • try to think about something else and stay positive – you are helping save lives when you give blood;
  • Distraction is key. You may want to bring a friend to wait with you, or feel free to bring a book to read or listen to some music while you donate.We also ask donors to undertake something called ‘applied muscle tension’ or AMT. This is a simple behavioural technique that helps to maintain blood pressure, and so stops you from feeling faint or unwell. It is also a brilliant distraction technique! AMT involves tensing and relaxing the body’s major muscles during the donation process.
  • If you feel any doubt or uncomfortable, talk to our Blood Bank Staff who will be very pleased to help you.

Tensing your muscles also keeps blood pressure from dropping: squeeze a rubber ball, periodically contract your gluteal and leg muscles.

After giving blood, you may feel faint if you stand up abruptly or if you have been standing for a long time. So, do not rush ….

REMEMBER: Blood donation is ZERO risk. You cannot get any disease as all materials are one time use only and are disposed.

Thank you for donating blood soon.

Crossword Puzzle for Human Blood

Across1. He discovered the ABO blood type system.
5. A relatively large type of blood cell that transports oxygen from the lungs to all of the living tissues of the body and carries away carbon dioxide. It is also called a red cell.
12. An essential fluid in our bodies that transports oxygen and nutrients to our cells and gets rid of carbon dioxide and other waste products. It is a highly specialized tissue composed of many different kinds of components produced in bone marrow.
13. The names given to the two main antigens responsible for ABO blood types. These antigens provide the signature for blood types.
14. A kind of protein produced by the body to identify and neutralize or destroy alien antigens by binding to them. These proteins are involved in the rejection of mismatched blood transfusions and organ transplants.
16. The gas transporting protein molecule that normally makes up 95% of the volume of red cells in blood. The color of blood is primarily due to these molecules when they are chemically bound to oxygen.
17. The term for people who can receive blood transfusions from anyone, regardless of the donor’s ABO type. The blood of these fortunate people does not contain antibodies to reject the A and B antigens because the surface of their red blood cells have both of these antigens.
Down2. A kind of relatively large molecule found on the surface of red blood cells. These molecules provide the specific signature or identity to blood—i.e., the blood type. When alien forms of these molecules are introduced into the body via a transfusion of the wrong type of blood, they stimulate the production or mobilization of other molecules to get rid of the alien blood.
3. A type of blood cell that coagulates and clots blood when there is an injury to a blood vessel. It is also called a platelet.
4. A serum containing anti-Rh+ antibodies given to women at high risk for having a baby with a life- threatening blood type incompatibility problem.
The number of principle Rh blood types.
7. A blood disease of fetuses and newborn infants caused by a mother- fetus Rh blood type incompatibility.
8. The term for people who can donate blood to anyone without the recipients’ blood rejecting it because of ABO type incompatibility. These people have type O blood. Their blood is not rejected by other types of blood because it does not normally have A and B antigens that could potentially mark it as being alien.
9. The clumping together of red cells in blood as a result of antibodies attaching to antigens on the surface of the cells. This occurs when blood of different types is mixed together.
10. A kind of blood cell that exists in variable numbers and types but makes up a very small part of human blood volume. Some of these cells provide a physiological defense against infection. As a result, their numbers increase when the body is under attack by bacteria and viruses. It is also called a white cell.
11. The relatively clear liquid medium in blood which carries the red cells, white cells, and platelets. Most of blood’s volume is made up of this liquid.
15. The number of ABO blood types.
16. The name of the system of over 100 antigens on the surface of human body tissue cells that can be recognized by some kinds of white blood cells and potentially lead to the rejection of these tissues if they are alien.

For answers: Click  here  


Click this link :

Quiz No 3
Test Your Knowledge on Blood Donation: Click  here

Quiz No 4: Blood Donation Quiz

Témoignage: Une battante d’une inébranlable modestie

by Ashish Purmanund (Magazine Blood Donors Association 2007)
Photo: Gladys Lodoiska (A. Purmanund)

Y’a-t-il plus émouvant qu’une épouse qui par son moral, sa determination et son courage, convainc tous ceux a qui elle parle de sentir que donner son sang est un geste qui vient du coeur.

Glaydys Lodoiska raconte son histoire a autant de groupes comment elle faisait pendant des années en faisant du porte-a-porte dans les usines et aux bureaux pour parler de la maladie de son époux qui avait besoin beaucoup de sang jusqu’a sa mort.

Quelque années de cela, un des animateurs de I’eglise Adventiste de Forest-Side, Monsieur Dino Carpuron me présenta Gladys qui est venue faire un témoignage.
Avant que je prenne la parole pour parler a I’assistance sur le sang et I’importance de faire le don de sang, je fus émerveillé par le courage de cette jeune femme de 62 ans, * qui bien qu’elle ait perdu son deuxième époux et qu’elle ait connu des moments difficiles, a su gardé le moral. C’est une battante d’une inébranlable modestie.
(Note *: Elle doit avoir 72 ans. Nous éspérons qu’elle vit toujours)

Captive et attentif, I’auditoire suit les péripéties de Gladys Lodoiska qui raconte comment son mari, René Lodoiska a survecu pendant 4 ans après avoir reçu plus de 68 pintes de sang. « En 2000, notre vie a changé subitement quand des tests ont montré que Rene souffre d’une anémie pernicieuse – la megaloblastique. (Lire plus loin) Son taux d’hémoglobine etant 5.5ml, René avait dû recevoir 2 pintes de sang dans une clinique privée. René etait chanceux qu’il pouvait vivre un peu plus par des transfusions de sang. Il voulait vivre car, il avait perdu auparavant sa femme et comme sa survie dependait de la transfusion de sang, il avait accepté de son propre gré la transfusion même s’il appartenait a un certain moment a une autre secte Chrétienne.

Commença alors une longue bataille.
«Notre monde se basculait graduellement alors que nous menions une vie paisible». René et Gladys se sont rencontrés plusieurs années aprés la mort de leur épouse et époux respectifs pour refaire leur vie. Comme le malheur ne vient jamais seule, René a été diagnostiqué d’une hernie qu’il fallait opérer. Mais avec son taux d’hémoglobine très bas a cause de sa maladie, ce n’était pas possible. René recevait régulièrement des transfusions a l’hopital Victoria, a Candos pendant ces quatre dernières années. Elle se souvient de ces moments avec un peu d’émotion. Telle une battante, elle ne se laissait pas facilement decouraqer. Elle fit du porte-à-porte dans les usines et gagna la sympathie de certains responsables par ses ternoiqnaqes pour expliquer le cas de son mari. Des donneurs de sang avaient repondu a ses cris de coeur.

René est décédé en 2004. Gladys continue a encourager les gens a faire le don de sang car « c’est plus facile de demander la charité mais c’est plus difficile d’obtenir une pinte de sang» lance- t- elle. « Les donneurs de sang occupent une place importante dans mon coeur. J’espère que vous réalisez qu’en donnant ne serait-ce q’un peu de votre sang, vous ferez une différence dans la vie de quelqu’un et ça fait toute la différence».
~ Ashish Purmanund

L’anémie mégaloblastique est un problème sanguin qui se caractérise par l’apparition de globules rouges très volumineux. L’anémie est un problème sanguin qui entraîne la destruction des globules rouges. Les globules rouges servent à transporter de l’oxygène dans le corps ; si le volume d’oxygène n’est pas suffisant, les tissus et les organes en souffrent et peuvent cesser de fonctionner correctement.

Dans le cas de l’anémie mégaloblastique, le problème est causé par la formation incomplète de globules rouges, entraînant un grand nombre de cellules partiellement développées et immatures. Ces globules rouges ne fonctionnent pas comme des globules rouges sains et repoussent les cellules saines, causant ainsi de l’anémie. Comme ces cellules sont sous-développées, elles vivent moins longtemps.