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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Apheresis donors of blood components who are Special Lifesaving Heroes URGENTLY NEEDED !

What is Apheresis?

Apheresis is the process of separating blood into its different components: Platelets, Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and Plasma. Platelet donations allow us to collect what our patients need and return the rest of the blood to the donor.

” Sometimes, patients need only a specific part of a donor’s blood. To help these people, donations of individual blood components such as platelets or plasma are sometimes required. Such donations are known as apheresis donations.

The extraction of only platelets from a donor’s blood is known as plateletpheresis, while plasmapheresis refers to the extraction of a donor’s plasma.” ¹

Read more on Platelets and Platelets Apheresis donation

Apheresis donors are special and extraordinary persons. They are called upon to make special donation of selective components instead of whole blood donation. They can make platelets, plasma or red blood cells. This being said, they can also give whole donation and after 15 days give platelets.

Why Apheresis donation?

Apheresis donations are an essential part of treatment for patients with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions. By becoming an apheresis donor, you can make a huge contribution to these critically-ill patients with special transfusion needs. As mentioned above,  Cancer patients needs platelets due to their low level of platelets which is essential in blood clotting. Platelet transfusions are routinely needed to support patients undergoing cancer therapy, open-heart surgery, organ transplantation, and for patients with bleeding disorders. Platelets have a very short shelf-life and must be transfused within five days of collection. This requires constant replenishment of the blood bank supply. Platelet donations can be  donated up to 24 times a year.

What the Apheresis Machine does?

Instead of collecting a unit (about a pint) of your blood as a whole, donations can be made for only the component that is needed most by local patients. These donations are made through an automated process known as apheresis. This process collects whole blood from the donor, isolates the needed component, then returns the remaining components along with a saline solution back to the donor.

This is done in about 6 cycles. It separates the needed component, say platelets and return everything to your body. While, a blood donation is about 7 minutes, Apheresis for platelets is about 60-90 minutes max and Plasma Apheresis is about 45 minutes.

It’s like a blood donation, SAFE, NO PAIN AT ALL and is done by a sophisticated machine.

What is Plasma?

Plasma is the pale yellow type of the liquid portion in which are suspended red blood cells, platelets and other components. Blood plasma is a yellowish coloured liquid component of blood that normally holds the blood cells in whole blood in suspension. Plasma is the single largest component of human blood, comprising about 55 percent, and contains water, salts, enzymes, antibodies and other proteins.

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Plasma carries out a variety of functions in the body, including clotting blood, fighting diseases and other critical functions.

Source plasma is plasma that is collected from healthy, voluntary donors through a process called plasmapheresis and is used exclusively for further manufacturing into final therapies (fractionation). Source plasma donors may be compensated for their time and effort.

” Plasma donation requires a commitment both in the amount of time for each donation and frequency of donation. Typically it takes between one and three hours to donate source plasma, and plasma can be donated twice within a seven day period. Whole blood donation takes less time—under 30 minutes—and donors donate less frequently—no more than once in eight weeks. The programs may fit into a donor’s life differently at various times in the donor’s life, and are equally important in helping to fulfill a vital medical need.” Continue reading

We need platelet donors

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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