To focus public attention on the need and importance of BLOOD DONATION, the Pakistan Post Office is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of 20 Paisa denomination on the Defence Day of Pakistan i.e. 6th September 1972.
Human Blood is required as a medi-cine for surgical operations and resus-citation of accident and war victims. Since it can not be manufactured by any laboratory in the world nor can a substitute be found for the living red cells in the human blood, it has to be donated as a gift by fellow human be-ings to save the life of a patient, and accelerate the recovery of a wounded person.
In case of injury, accident, burn, abnormal childbirth or major surgical operation, there is a great loss of blood. When more than half the total quantity of blood is lost quickly, death must follow. But if some of the lost blood, at least a pint, a gift from one donor, is put back into the patient’s veins, life can be saved and the patient recovers in due course. Blood from healthy person is thus used through the agency of ‘Blood Banks’. You can save a mother, a father, a lovely child. Remember, once death overtakes life, it never comes back. Think of others in danger of death who can be saved with a little of your blood at no cost to you in health and efficiency. Who knows that you may have to come to the hospitals in some such dangerous emergent condition and need blood to help and save your life.
55 per cent of the blood is a straw- coloured liquid called plasma, which is itself 91 to 92 per cent water and 7 to 8 per cent protein. Plasma also contains small amounts of salt, sugar, and other substances. 45 per cent of the blood is made up of cells, of which there arc three kinds; Red cells the oxygen-carry-ing veins of the blood system; White cells, the body’s warriors and the Platelets, which help in the coagulation of blood after injury.
The average life of blood is 100 days. Your entire blood is 1-100 days old. There is a balanced one per cent pro-duction and destruction of Blood con-tinuously going on. Blood is contained in active circulation and some in storage depots of Spleen. After blood loss as from donation, these organs contract and stored blood is pushed into active circulation. The total stocks is thus replenished in a few days.
In England, every minute of every hour, a person donates blood and no harmful effects are reported. One looses less than five per cent of total blood in one donation. You can give blood every three months. All men and wo-men of 18—65 years of age, more than 110 lbs. of weight, of average normal health, not suffering from obvious illness, and having no history of syphilis, jaundice, and recent attack of malaria, are fit for blood donations.
Blood is taken only after a fair exa-mination by trained Doctors. It takes ten minutes to donate and ten minutes to rest and then you are fit for any job. There is no adverse effect on health, whatsoever, after donating less than 5 per cent of one’s total blood volume. The carefully maintained records in all countries conclusively prove that the process does not entail any ill effects whatsoever for the donor and rather in most cases it has a definite healthy effect by stimulating the formation of new blood and for treating certain latent disease conditions like high blood pressure.
Blood Transfusion Service has been organised by the Government to collect blood from volunteer donors and to supply it to various hospitals for pati-ents free of cost. The large hospitals have also their Blood Banks from which needy patients can get blood. Some voluntary organisations like the All Pakistan Blood Donor’s Association and the Pakistan Red Cross Society have also regular arrangements for collection and supply of blood for the benefit of the needy patients. But their combined efforts have so far touched only the fringe of the need. There is need for a nation-wide consciousness of the im-portance of blood donation to reduce mortality from disease and accident.
It is however very sad that our healthier, wealthier and happier people do not want to donate blood with the result that the professional donors markets are so flourishing. Almost the attendants of every patient, when asked to donate blood, first try to manage donations from these donors as they themselves want to avoid donation of their own blood. When poor people are there to sell their blood, the people with money are ready to buy it. The Blood Banks and Hospitals try utmost to persuade the relations to donate blood themselves, but inspite of this, the latent scare of blood-loss impels them to purchase blood from poor and marginally healthy people. The relatives donate only when no poor fit donor is available. These donors give blood purely for money and they will do it without any regard for their health. Any way under the present circums-tances they are beneficial and unavoid-able, but ultimately volunteers have to fill up the gap. ‘DONATE BLOOD AND SAVE LIFE’