Yes for our Community – 5 reasons why you need consider giving blood !

Blood donation is a simple way to help save lives. An average of 150 to 175 units of blood are needed  everyday day, and on some occasions, a single patient has been transfused more than 40 units of blood. An accident victim may even need more.

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“Yes” to our community, because the only source of blood is a human donor.  And, like it or not, that’s means it’s up to each one of us. Giving blood makes it possible for many people to lead normal healthy lives.  Every year thousands of patients require blood transfusions, because they are undergoing surgery, recovering from cancer or have been in a serious accident.  Blood plays a vital role and it is irreplaceable.

Patients rarely receive whole blood donations. More often, blood is broken down into components:

  • Red cells are used for accident victims and surgery patients.
  • Platelets are used for treatment of cancer, leukemia, and aplastic anemia, as well as open heart surgery and other treatments.
  • Plasma is used for shock and burn victims.
  • Cryoprecipitated, AHF, (cryo) is used for patients with bleeding diseases, such as hemophilia.

There is a good chance that you or someone you love might need someone else’s blood to stay alive. One out of every three people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime.

In order to meet the needs of sick and injured people in the communities we serve, NBTS -Candos needs ample supplies of many different blood types at all times. We need at least a buffer stock for 7 days. It has been very critical moment during the New Year and during the Cyclone Berguitta and bad weather whereby our blood drives were cancelled. However, patients needs blood everyday and many are dependent on your donations to have their lives saved.

A few years ago, the haunting memory of the accident at Pailles whereby many people were wounded and a few sadly had lost their lives. Many people were saved  and fortunately, we just passed the sporadic but acute blood shortage a week earlier.

Reasons to donate blood

Reason # 1. On Average every 15 minutes a person is being transfused in Mauritius (based on the requirement of 150 to 175 pints daily). If 60% of our population can donate blood, yet, only 1.8% donate blood. If 5% would have donated blood, there would have not been blood shortage in Mauritius and this means there would have no stress from patients, accident victims, Thalassemia patients, Cancer and other medical related issues whereby blood is needed.

We encourage you or your organization to host a blood drive. You could even do it at the level of your socio-cultural organization.

# 2. Up to three persons could be saved from one pint of blood as there are blood derivatives or blood components that are derived or prepared from a unit of blood: Platelets, Plasma, Red Blood Cells. Cryoprecipitate is also produced but we import that as it is an expensive and is very complex. This is given for example to hemophilia patients. A typical unit of blood lasts for just 35 days, but in some cases such as blood used for very young children; this blood must be used within 5 days of it’s collection.

 

# 3. Donating blood is very easy. Read more >>

# 4. A few reasons we are given by people who don’t donate blood are:
“Mo pas enan le temps – I don’t have time” “I am afraid of needles – mo per zeguilles”. Blood donation is an opportunity to volunteer, rather than be drafted. Wouldn’t it feel good to put out your arm for a cause and walk away knowing you’ve contributed to the good health of someone other than yourself? Please click here

# 5. Cancer patients have increased and they need blood for their survival.Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily during their chemotherapy treatment. We have an ageing population, it is important for the youths and younger generation to come forward and do their community service by saving lives.

Join all the other blood donors to donate blood because you never know when you may need it or one of your loved ones. Just do it !

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How to Organize a Blood Donation ?

Hosting a blood donation is  partnering with Blood Bank. If each blood donation saves up to three lives, imagine how many you can save at your own blood drive. Hosting a blood drive gives you the chance to get your whole community involved and make an even bigger impact on the lives of others. For your organization, it shows your commitment, dedication to make a difference in people’s lives. In order to ensure a rich and diversified blood supply with the greatest number of specific blood types, we rely on the support of donors from our Rainbow Nation and various cultural communities. It is essential to reach all communities. Mauritians should unite and save lives in solidarity.

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TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL BLOOD DRIVE

Contact Blood Bank
Call our Blood Donors Recruitment’s Office on Tel/Fax: 427 0711 or send us an email to: 
bts.hemma@gmail.com  and copy to nbtsmru@gmail.com  and see if the date you or your organization wants to host the blood drive is available.

Provide the following:
Name of Organizer:
Date:
Venue:
Time:
Modes: Couches or Caravan
Contact person/s + Landline + Mobile numbers
Expected Number of pints to be collected:

Finalize a Venue
We can organize the camp in a college, corporate office and residential area, a Village Hall/Community Centre, a Socio-Cultural Organization or a Public place. If you cannot find a properly ventilated location inside the building (for couches), we can also provide depending on the availability our Mobile Blood Caravan. Blood donation booking is done on First Come First Serve basis !

Confirm a Date
Finalize a date one – two months in advance. But even if it’s less than that, you can always check with us the availability. 

Spread the Word
Through signs, word-of-mouth, emails and more, let others near you know what is going on.

Start Signing Up Donors (If within your organization) Not possible for open or public donation (At the University, it is besides being done in Mauritius)
Send an email to anyone interested to give and have them sign up for a time slot. Don’t worry, walk-ins are always welcome to give blood.

Get a Group Involved
Get people to help you set up and get others excited. Have your team help you come up with unique ways to make your drive even more fun.

Show your Appreciation
At your drive, make sure every donor knows how much it means to you that they show up.

We’re Here to Help
If you have any questions during the process, talk to us … BUT not on the eve of your blood drive !

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STEPS
Once the blood bank is contacted, the Blood Bank Coordinator or a Motivator will help the person organizing the blood drive. The representative will ask a number of questions that will enable him or her to help the blood drive organizer plan a successful blood drive.

The organizer should be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal or mission of the group or organization?
  • How big is the organization and where is it located?
  • Additional questions may be asked to ensure that the organizer’s group meets the blood bank’s requirements.

If within the organization, whether it will be a Blood Mobile Caravan or inside (which we encourage as the Caravan in summer gets very hot inside)

For a blood donation we need the following:

  • Water facility
  • Electricity 
  • Toilet for both donors and blood bank staffs
  • Eventually a space of about 15ft x ft whereby 4 couches will be fitted
  • At least 3 tables: one for Donor Registration, one for HB Tests  and one to serve refreshments
  • A few chairs around 15

Once the representative has determined that an organization meets the requirements, the organizer and the blood drive representative begins to plan the actual blood drive. It is important that you get as many people to participate.

Often Organizers just do a booking for blood donation, provide too much long hours when at the end, it is not cost-effective with less donors attending.  If a company has some 200 employees, about 15 to 20% (sometimes less) may likely donate blood. A well organized blood donation where people at all levels are involved and encouraged to form a group, it has greater impact and is successful. Everything depends on the organizational factor. The pyramidal hierarchy from upper management to other levels should be involved. 

Blood Bank Motivator can come a week prior to the drive make a 20 – 30 minutes presentation on What is Blood and the Importance of Blood Donation followed by 5 minutes Questions & Answers (Q&A)


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Commitment Form
The organizer can circulate a form with the heading : I commit to save a life
in three columns has the Name, Unit/Department and Signature and Telephone

Blood donor recruiters/Motivators will provide materials like Pamphlets and Posters. BUT the organizers can also make their own Posters like MRA, General Construction and so on. The following outline provides general tips for conducting a blood drive and ensuring its success:

Work with executive staff/HR to provide staff with one hour of time off to donate
Build a committee that includes members from all parts of the organization to help get the word out. Ask people who have donated blood before to help organize the drive – they often make the best recruiters.
Advertise two to three weeks in advance using various marketing materials and direct methods that include:
Posters – displayed in high traffic areas
Brochures – make available during briefings and in high traffic areas

OTHR MEANS/WAYS
Briefings/presentations/announcements – as appropriate in meetings, in the organization’s newsletter
Table Tents 
Email – when possible
Sign up donors, allowing enough time for all donors to complete the process
Get donors to the donation site
Keep in touch with donor center staff
Ensure donors have had adequate fluids and have eaten prior to donating
Follow up after the blood drive by making sure the committee is thanked and the blood drive’s success is reported in the organization newsletter.
Thank everyone involved either by certificates or simply a Thank you letter.
Book the next drive right away! It is NEVER too early to schedule future drives.

For more information, please contact us as follows:-

National Blood Transfusion Service
Candos – Mauritius

Tel: 427 0711/ 427 7192 /424 4766/ 424 0650
Email: bts.hemma@gmail.com and bloodbankmauritius@gmail.com

Head in Charge: Dr Mrs Sonoo – 424 0650
Blood Donor Coordinator: 427 0711/ Mobile: 5254 3932
Motivators: Ashish Purmanund – 5 915 5152
Pravesh Rawoo –        5 257 9293
Raj Sunmukhiya        5 766 1160

 

We need platelet donors

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Picture Copyright:  askhematologist.com

Blood Bank Mauritius requires  between 56,000 – 57,000 units or pints of blood and blood components  each year  for patient treatment and care in Mauritius. Platelets are a component of blood whose function (along with the coagulation factors) is to stop bleeding by clumping and clotting. Read more on platelets (Sources and Credit: John Hopkins Medicine).

Currently we are particularly looking to boost our recruitment of A, B and O negative group donors as their donations can be given to patients with blood groups other than their own. We also need Red Blood Cells for accident, cancer, anemia and low red blood cells level etc. Giving of Red Blood Cells through apheresis (Leukapheresis) or by giving whole blood not only are very important by saving lives of patients, but, it may help  to prevent  complications of thrombosis  (formation of blood clot inside blood vessels – a vein or an artery).

Will medication affect my platelet donation?

You cannot donate platelets if you have taken aspirin, aspirin-containing medications, piroxicam or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen in the last 48 hours.

Who can donate platelets?

Almost anyone who is a whole blood donor can donate platelets. You are eligible if you are between 18 and 55 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health. You can donate platelets every 15 days or a total of 24 times per year. Platelet donors must not take aspirin or products containing aspirin within 48 hours of their donation. (see above).

Does it hurt?

You should not feel any discomfort at all, though a small pinch like a normal blood donation process. Some donors experience tingling during the donation, but increasing calcium in your diet prior to donating helps alleviate this symptom.

How long does it take?

It is done in 6 to 8 cycles. The actual platelet donation time takes between 60 to  90 minutes. This depends on the donor’s platelet count, and total blood volume.

Why should I donate?

Cancer, and leukemia patients benefit significantly from platelets, which greatly reduce the chances of rejection. With state – of – the – art medicine, we don’t really have stand by donors as it was practiced  during cardio vascular surgery. So, platelets are also transfused to these patients.

How will my blood and platelet donation help patients ?

A cancer patient can require up to 2 units of platelets per week.

An  accident victim can use up to:

  • 50 to 60 units of red blood cells
  • 2 units of platelets
  • 10 units of plasma

 

A Heart surgery patient uses on average:

  • 8 or more units of red blood cells
  • 2 units of platelets
  • 4 units of plasma

How do I feel after giving platelets?

You will feel great when you know you have given  a person  a chance to live. You should not feel tired or lightheaded since you loose such a small amount of red blood cells. Like after a normal blood donation, try to avoid strenuous exercise or lifting after donating.

For more information and booking an appointment please call on:
427 7192/424 4766/424 0650

See  details on the website:  http://www.blooddonorsnetwork.org 

 

 

Blood donation works on the values of kindness and mutual trust of donors

Before every donation, all donors must complete a Donor Health Check and have a private health screening where they may be asked confidential questions based on their completed form. Although all donated blood is tested, there is a period of time following contact with any infection when it would not be detected by our screening tests. This is called the window period.

Blood donation works on the values of kindness and mutual trust, that is the sincerity of blood donors.

IT IS IMPORTANT FOR DONORS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE LIFE OF A SICK PEOPLE/PATIENT DEPEND ON THEM.

It is vital that all potential and existing donors keep to the blood donor selection rules by giving completely accurate answers to all the questions asked confidentially at donation sessions, both for the protection of their own health and that of the patients who receive transfusions. Often, donors who attend drives would say: ” Mo presser la, degager faire vite” ! ( I am very busy and in a hurry and don’t have much time, make haste, else, I will leave” !)

When at Port Louis Market/Bazaar Port Louis, we got cases of TTI, this means many donors have lied. And it could have been one of your loves ones who required blood for transfusion and  received an infected blood, had they (TTI – Transfused Transmitted Infections like HIV, Hepatitis B and C, Syphilis etc) not been detected due to window period, you can understand why it is much important to have safe blood donors who give at least twice a year or more if they can, this would have solved all blood shortages.

IF YOU ARE A DONOR, PLEASE CONSIDER GIVING TWICE OR MORE. Thank you for saving lives and ensuring that patients receive SAFE blood.

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
  4. BRING YOUR ID CARD AND/OR BLOOD DONOR CARD

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.

PLEASE DO NOT DONATE BLOOD TO GET AN HIV TEST DONE. 

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: bloodbankmauritius@gmail.com.

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.