Monday, December 29, 2008

Write up on Friends2Support

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blood donors from various parts of India in one database -

Blood is the need of the hour for many persons most of the times due to various reasons. But can everyone afford to buy it from blood banks when it is required on a regular basis ?

Well I believe its not possible. As a human being we believe in helping others with the best possible way we can. Donating blood is one such social activity if we can afford to do it. Any social cause which is meant for the welfare of the society we live in should be wholeheartedly supported. I came across this website which contains the database of interested donors who volunteer to donate blood

This database contains the list of people who have volunteered to donate blood anytime and can be contacted directly on their phone with a simple search in this website.

Lets find it out with Ramesh Susarla the chief Advisor and founder of this website regarding what motivated him and what it take to maintain this database which is meant for all our needs.

1. What inspired you to start this social cause
Ramesh:Five students of Narsaraopet Engineering College began this website when they got number of calls from people for blood donation frequently. They used to maintain a list of their friends physically to provide information about voluntary donors. Later they thought they could build a website on which they were getting trained. I joined them three months later and my motivation was the suffering we had to undergo for arranging A - ve blood for my aunt at Hyderabad NIMS

She was down with lukemia and at the end she needed almost one unit every three days. I am myself A -ve and donated thrice to her. I used to send pager messages and ask people to contact me at my residence No. and then take them to the blood bank in NIMS during 1998-99.That give me a realistic picture of how grave the situation was. So I also decided to do some social work in this regard by spending some of my salary savings in this form.

2. Do you take any sponsorship ?
Ramesh: we do not take any advertisement or sponsorship from people for this activity

3. Does your group conduct any blood donation camps ?
Ramesh: We do not organise blood donation camps. We are against mega blood donation camps as they lead to wastage of a lot of blood.

4. How does the friendstosupport database work out for the needy?
Ours is only a blood donors information service or you can call it as a registry of Blood Donors all over India with every district and Assembly constituency wise. All the 17 blood groups including sub-groups are divided for the sake of voluntary donors contact information like normal address, e-mail address, contact phone Nos. age sex etc. Our database works as a catalyst between the needy and the search for a donor becomes very easy for the needy and we have created a platform for both of them to come together.

5. How do you spread the information about this database to the common man ?
Ramesh: we do not have any ground level organisation. But only volunteers like you who wish to spread the concept and help people get helped in case of need. we only organise awareness camps and programmes to help poeple know that such a facility is available and that they could register themselves as Voluntary donors to help others.

Recently we organised essay competition online and elocution competition for college students of Acharya Nagarjuna University and on December 1st 2008 we are organising one for all Pharmacy students.

6. How long has this journey been since you started this cause ?
We completed 3 years on November 14, 2008. We are also supporting six meritorious poor students in their studies with our own funds.

7.How do you raise funds for maintaining this database ?
We pool up money from among the core group of seven members from our own salary savings. we do not take up any fund-raising exercise - that is our first principle.

8. Who maintains website and organizes events ?
Ramesh: Web hosting, designing is done by our own members who are good at it and designing the events and organizing them is done by me. I also keep writing pamphlets or other literature for spreading awareness. We also got National Award "Manthan Award' for best Website using digital information for development of society from Department of Information Technology Government of India and UNDP During November 2007.

We have volunteer groups in Pune, Bangalore, Dlehi and Chennai who also keep organizing some program or other even at Hyderabad.

9. Do you guys work full time for this or its time dedicated after the individual professions ?
Ramesh: Yes, it is done during our spare time. None of us work full time for this nor do we have any employee for this. We believe in taking all people along with us and they also should get a feeling that it is theirs (F2S) and we do not monopolize on it, but just keep a track of goings on so that it does not wayward or gets misused. Open-end and free information on Blood Donors for entire India is our dream and we desire to end the monopoly of some blood banks or hospital on information of blood donors.

10.What is the average number of people/requests you get through this website for blood ?
We have a database of 60,000 voluntary donors on website and we do not get requests as the needy contacts the donor directly - we are only facilitators and none contacts us in any manner except those who know us personally for a personal favour and we do not take up the service of arranging blood donors for needy it is upto them to contact the donors.

We run a toll-free Telephonic helpline at Guntur 0863-2351725 which is toll-free in AP and at Regular charges from elsewhere in the country.

11. Dont you feel that only maintaining website puts restriction in spreading this info of database as the percentage of people who have access to internet is less ?
This is for those who do not have access to internet at remote places
but all do not need acceess to internet if the hospitals and any relative of the needy or the nursing homes or blood banks where the needy approach as the first choice. If these people have access or can just log into it from a public net cafe, which are available even at a remote village,they can help them like his family circle, immediate bosom friends circle.

They are the people who usually contact us for any kind of help and even we can help them if they are within our reach. So it is the willingness to help people that is more important and not forwarding mails and SMS seeking blood immediately or informing about a need in some corner of the country.I personally encountered some of these where when I contacted the need was over more than six months ago or a minimum of a week.

Well guys we should truly appreciate the efforts of Mr. Ramesh and his team. Lets join our hands in spreading the word and also by directly or indirectly helping the others.

I would say : What can happen to others can happen to you also. Help others and get helped.

For more Information on this database click here
You can also find the FAQ's about this blood donors database in the below link

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blood Components The Right Choice

Blood Components: The Right Choice

1. Introduction
2. What is better whole blood or components?
3. Why are blood components being used?
4. Why components therapy is better?
5. What is to be done?
6. Various Blood Components
7. Sources


Today if you go to a modern blood bank and ask for blood, you are very likely to be asked a question –"Which Component?" Gone are the day when the prescribed type of transfusion was whole blood. Today blood from the donor is separated into various different types of cells that it is constituted of and these are called blood components. What is better whole blood or components? Each one of us has 60-80 ml blood per kg body weight in our body. Of this 16 ml is maintained as reserve. When a person comes to donate blood, the internationally prescribed standards say that the person may donate 8ml per kg body weight of blood. Since blood bags are available in only 350ml and 450 ml, so a person above the weight of 45 is eligible to donate 350 ml of blood and the person above 55 kg is eligible to donate 450 ml.The question is what is the real difference between donating 350 ml and 450 ml?The answer is simple. It is the difference between saving one and saving up to 3 lives. When you donate 450 ml of blood, the blood is separated into its constituents. One unit is used to prepare red blood cells, platelet concentrate and plasma each of which can be given to three different patients and therefore one unit of blood when separated into component can save 3 lives.

Why are blood components being used?

Blood is a complex body fluid that has multiple roles to play within our body. Following are some of the important functions of blood.# Supply of oxygen to tissues (bound to hemoglobin which is carried in red cells) # Supply of nutrients such as glucose, amino acids and fatty acids (dissolved in the blood or bound to plasma proteins) # Removal of waste such as carbon dioxide, urea and lactic acid # Immunological functions, including circulation of white cells, and detection of foreign material by antibodies # Coagulation, which is one part of the body's self-repair mechanism # Messenger functions, including the transport of hormones and the signaling of tissue damageThere are specific cells to perform each of these tasks in the blood. When the world did not have the correct understanding on how to prepare blood components, the shortage of any of the blood cells was treated by transfusing whole blood from the donor. This meant that the patient received a host of unwanted cells from someone else just to cater to the shortage of a specific cell. As transfusion medicine evolved, the blood banks learnt how to separate components and now the patient is given only the blood cells that are in shortage in his/her body.An important thing that we must understand is that every time a person is transfused blood, it causes reactions within the donor's body. This is because some cells (white blood cells) are very specific to a patient. They are never required to be transfused into the patient but they invariably find their way into the patient's body in whole blood. These cells may cause an immunological assault on the recipient's body.When we use blood components, only the required cells are transfused leading to the suppression of un-necessary reactions and problems for the patient.

Why components therapy is better?

Various reason as quoted by WHO are:- • the recipient can be treated with only those blood components that are lacking, reducing the occurrence of adverse transfusion reactions; • more than one patient can be treated with blood components derived from one donation; • therapeutic support for patients with special transfusion requirements can be provided, for example, plasma that often is not directly needed for transfusion can be used manufacturing of Factor VIII concentrate for Haemophilia A patients; • Improved quality and functional capacity of each component when varied storage conditions and shelf lives were applied. It has also been observed that infants treated with reconstituted blood (mixture of separated blood components) instead of whole blood recover faster.(See

Apart from all these facts National Blood Policy of India clearly states that component therapy should be facilitated and encouraged. Plasma fractionation is also included in the strategy plan of NBP.( "Availability of blood components shall be ensured through the network of regional centres, satellite centres and other blood centres by creating adequate number of blood component separation units." "Appropriate steps shall be taken to increase the availability of plasma fractions as per the need of the country through expanding the capacity of existing centre and establishing new centres in the country."Component therapy is followed in several other countries satisfying the increasing need of blood to great extent. Very few Blood banks in India have component separation facility. Need of the hour is to adopt this procedure and have 100% component separation.

What is to be done?

Individual donor to blood bank and the government, it is the effort of all which will bring a change in the prevailing practice of using whole blood to component therapy.A donor who is eligible to donate 450ml of blood should never go for 350ml as it doesn't make any difference. The donors must insist on donating components of eligible by making sure that the blood bank uses triple bags of blood for collection. Blood bank should encourage eligible donors to donate 450ml of blood. Also they should make sure that such units are separated into components and not used as whole blood. Infrastructure has to be developed and necessary equipments should be upgraded in the blood banks so that not even a single unit is under utilized by not separating into components. Blood banks should take the initiative to educate and explain to doctors the importance and necessity of component therapy.Policies and strict guidelines have to be enforced by the government so those blood banks optimize the available blood units.

Various Blood Components

Packed CellsRBCs or Red Blood Cells carry hemoglobin and thereby help in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the cells respectively is known as Packed Cells. Life - a unit of packed cells has a life of 20-40 days depending on the preserving conditions. Usage - In case of anemia, Blood loss due to bleeding PlateletsThese are the cells responsible for the clotting of blood. Life - 5-6 days Usage - Low platelets count, Clotting disorders, Dengue fever, Burn cases etc Fresh Frozen PlasmaThe fluid portion of the blood containing the essential proteins like (albumins, globulins etc), when frozen and preserved is called as Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) Life - More than a year Usage - clotting disorder Plasma derivativesProteins present in the plasma can be further separated to prepare protein concentrates using a process called fractionation. Few of the useful plasma proteins are factor VII concentrate, Factor VIII concentrate etcUsage - Factor VII and VIII helps in treatment of hemophiliac patients, replacement of knee after knee injury, for treatment of von Willebrand's diseaseetc.