Even as the celebrations of India’s 73rd Independence day went on at the Manipal.edu building, a Blood donation camp organized by the Rotaract Club in association with Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal took place at the upper floor of Food Court – 1, opposite the Kamath Circle Student Plaza. Our team was on the spot to understand what goes on at a blood donation camp and learn about the importance of what is a noble cause.
The camp which was supposed to be inaugurated at 8:30 am was delayed due to the torrential downpour which delayed the arrival of the Chief guests. The rains, however, did not deter the stream of people who trooped in to donate blood in the hopes of saving a life. The inauguration eventually happened at 10:30 am, and as the saying goes, “you don’t need to be an actual superhero to save lives,” the donors waited and donated blood!
The Rotaract club is an MIT, Manipal based club whose Chairman is Mr. Balakrishnan Maddodi, a professor at the Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. For the past three years, the Rotaract club of MIT Manipal has been organizing such events four times a year. Members of “Blood Helpline,” Mangalore were present as the guests for the inauguration ceremony.
The “Blood Helpline” organization has been distributing blood all over Karnataka’s coastline, Kerala, and Bengaluru. Abroad they are linked with different organizations in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. 80+ camps have been organized in India and abroad by their team, lead by Mr.Satish Salian from Udupi who has been awarded the District Rajyayotsava Award. He has been a part of more than 200 camps in recent years. He said Blood Helpline is the mediator between the patients and the blood bank. KMC, Manipal collects the blood, and they distribute it efficiently.
Two guests from the blood bank of KMC, Manipal were also present at the event- Dr. Mohan and Mr. Lawrence. A speech by Mr. Balakrishna Maddodi followed the inauguration ceremony with the lighting of an oil lamp by all the guests.
Welcoming the donors and audience members, Mr. Maddodi, congratulated KMC Manipal blood bank team for serving society for ten years. He thanked the Rotaract club for being an inspiration to him and for helping the locality selflessly. He said that celebrating Independence day by saving lives is an excellent way to remember our freedom struggles. He thanked all the donors who turned up despite the torrential downpour and also commended Mr. Satish Salian for being ‘The first man’ to attend any Udupi resident when blood is needed. He was happy to see Blood Helpline, Karnataka joining hands on this significant occasion.
He requested donors to take photographs and flash it across social media platforms to create awareness in today’s youth, but not for publicity or creating hype. He said saving a life is a wonder that we can do, and we should all do wonders. He ended his speech by thanking all present there and stated that it’s one of the happiest jobs after his retirement.
Mr. Satish Salian thanked all for their support and goodwill. He also acknowledged, Dr. Ganesh Mohan from the KMC, blood bank. Mr. Salian said, “By donating blood, you create a relationship.”, explaining further, “whenever we donate blood, we are saving a life at least. The patients don’t see the religion or caste of the donor in this case. It creates peace and harmony.”
The donation process started with filling up of a form, measuring body weight and consulting the doctors from KMC. A sample of every donor’s blood was checked for their blood group. There were many donors from MIT, Manipal, and KMC aged between 19 and-30 years. It wasn’t the first time they were donating blood either. Anuj, a 19-year-old student of MIT Manipal, said he was donating blood for the second. There was a doctor from KMC, Manipal who was donating his blood for the 6th time. Donors were given a pack of tiger biscuits and fruit juice after the donation.
Dr. Ashwin, a doctor from KMC, Manipal briefed our team about the arrangements made for the blood camp and also took us step-by-step on how blood is collected and further processed. There were different disposal bins for needles, cotton, and plastic waste. He said, ‘the donor’s blood is checked thrice to be sure of his/her blood group.’
They also run different tests like HIV, Malaria, Syphilis (STD), HBsAg (hepatitis B antigen) for the safety of the donors, as well as the patients. The instrument to test all these costs Rs 50,000 per unit. If we go to a hospital to get these tests done, it will cost up to Rs 5000-Rs 6000. They hold call boards for informing the donors who have any such disease or infection. If you don’t get a call from them, you can relax for not having any of these diseases. Any disease or infection found has to be informed to the donors; this is a doctors commitment to the donors. It is one of the incentives for donors.
The blood collected is not given out for free to the recipients. They are charged a price that includes the cost of the tests done while collecting the blood and the cost of the blood storage bag. No extra charges are added. Each blood storage bag contains chemicals that preserve the blood before it is transfused; these include anticoagulants, Citrate-Phospate-Dextrose, and nucleotides.
The blood samples collected are stored at 4°c, and the blood which is not eligible is discarded. The hemoglobin of the donor shouldn’t be more than 18; if it is more than 18, it’s called Polycythemia Vera. The average hemoglobin of Indian females and males is 11-13.5 and 12.5-16.5, respectively. He also said that you could not donate if you have consumed alcohol with the past 24 hrs before the donation.
Ashish Anand, the present President of the Rotaract club, was seen actively organizing everything with his enthusiastic team members. The event was undoubtedly a massive success and just one of the various ways MAHE, Manipal, celebrated the nations 73rd Independence day.