Have you or someone you know been in a situation when you needed an urgent blood transfusion but you were unable to find the required blood or in many cases a replacement donor?
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The reasons for unavailability of blood could be many like, needing platelet donation (which can prove to be a difficult task), rare blood types, or the required blood may have been a too sudden and short notice in order for you to arrange for a donor.
Whatever the reason, the panic one feels when they are unable to procure the required blood/platelets/plasma on the given time can make them break out in a cold sweat.
And what do we do when stuck in a dire situation like this? We immediately start calling our family and friends or looking up blood banks close to us. But finding the required blood can prove to be challenging.
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But you don’t have to be clueless and feel helpless when you find yourself in a tough situation like this. There are many ways that you can help keep yourself and the people around you prepared in case of an emergency.
Here are 5 ways to be prepared for a blood-related-emergency
Govt. owned/recognized blood banks
First things first, is to have a list of blood banks owned or operated under the government’s guidance. The easiest way to find such blood banks are in Hospitals which are government based.
Here is a list for Karnataka:
- Blood Bank, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore
- Rastrothana Parishath Blood Bank, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) Hospital, Hubli, Dharwad Distt.
- Blood Bank, M.R. Medical College, Gulbarga
- Blood Bank, NIMHANS, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, Medical College, Bellary(Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Science (VIMS))
- Blood Bank, Kasturba Medical College, (University Medical Centre) Mangalore
- Blood Bank, Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, HSIS Hospital, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, KC General Hospital, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, Victoria Hospital in Bangalore Medical College, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, Indian Red Cross Society, Karnataka State Branch, Bangalore
- Blood Bank, K.R. Hospital & Mysore Medical College, Mysore
- Blood Bank, District Hospital, Belgaum
- Blood Bank, Macgvan District Hospital, Shimoga
- Blood Bank, ESI Hospital, Rajajinagar, Bangalore
You can simply call the nearest hospital mentioned in the above list to be guided about the procedure of procuring or donating blood.
Friends and Family to the rescue
It’s almost a reflex action to reach out to friends and family when you find yourself in a tough situation, so it’s obvious that you would do the same when you are in need of an urgent blood transfusion.
But sending out messages and calling them in a sudden situation could be tricky, especially if you are not aware of the blood types. It may take a long and stressful time to find a suitable donor.
To keep yourself prepared, you can add a section of the respective blood type your friends and family carry in your list of contacts. Doing this will make the process of finding the required blood group faster and easier.
The power of Social Media
Social media has quickly integrated into many aspects of our daily lives. Social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and many more make it easy to keep in touch with family, friends, to engage in online conversations and to have easy access to various services.
It has also made it easier for the common man to reach out and get in touch with an official. You don’t have to go through a difficult procedure in order to make an official listen to your grievances and then endure a long wait until the appropriate action is taken.
These days you can simply tag the official to the grievance message and within seconds you will be receiving a reply followed by the necessary solution.
Similarly, when it comes to the situation when you are unable to find the needed blood, you can simply post or tweet about your blood requirement and reach out to large groups of people for help.
Join Blood donation groups
How do you reach out to large groups of people for help and receive it in a timely fashion? Simple, find groups that are relevant. There are numerous groups on different social media platforms that solely focus on helping people in blood-related emergencies. These groups have access to a huge number of people which will make it easier for you to reach out for help and also receive it as soon as possible.
A few popular pages and websites that you could follow to either get or provide help
Social media pages:
- Blood Donors India – @BloodDonorsIn
- Donate Blood India –@Blood4NeedyIN
- Blood Helpline Karnataka – @bhlkarnataka
- Sankalp India Foundation – Blood Helpline – http://www.sankalpindia.net/
- Akshaya Voluntary Blood Bank – http://www.lionsbloodbank.org/
- Bangalore Medical Services Trust – http://www.bmstindia.org/
- Indian Red Cross Society Karnataka state Branch – http://redcrosskarnataka.org/
- Friends2support – www.friends2support.org/
And not just online, you can even sign up with groups that work offline. Groups where frequent meetings are held with the members. This will provide you with real face-to-face interactions.
Emergency services apps
In recent years, emergency services have witnessed a major rise. Today, not only can you find yourself public transport, order grocery/food, but also find help and support needed in a medical emergency.
Although there are various outstanding mobile apps for you to choose from that will help you in unfavorable situations, it is important that you choose an app that is a pre-eminent emergency services provider.
Which is where iRelief Services comes in the picture. iRelief is a mobile app that instantly shows you a list and helps you connect with the closest blood banks. You can also find a blood donors network, where you can connect with thousands of blood donors in your locality that are signed up on the app. Additionally, you can choose from the blood group/components to the number of units that are required for a transfusion.