While browsing I came across this image, and the first thing that came to mind was, ‘what a big-hearted person he must be!’ The dog was a plus and made the post just too adorable.
Blood donors are heroes in my eyes because of two factors – first, they take such good care of their health that they are in a position to donate blood and second, their action saves a person’s life.
To my absolute delight, not too long after this, I heard that Chillibreeze was organizing a voluntary blood donation camp cum awareness program. There was so much excitement in Chillibreeze and I was thrilled because, it was the perfect opportunity to get a story about how Chillibreeze is giving back to the community by donating blood.
The event, a Blood Donation Camp on wheels, was a first for The Pasteur Institute in Chillibreeze.
I was amazed at the number of volunteers who turned up that day. The enthusiasm and high spirits of all those involved was contagious and I was also motivated to join the cause.
But my enthusiasm quickly crumbled as I did not fit some of the criteria.
Donating blood is not as simple as “Here, take mine!”
You need to have almost perfect health.
To have a clearer picture of the process of blood donation, let me share with you a glimpse of the camp.
There were around 25 members who came forward to donate blood on the 22nd of November 2017 but sadly, only 10 qualified.
There are three procedures a blood donor must go through.
The first step is filling the form and writing down any medical history that you have. On handing over the form, you will be asked a series of questions.
- When did you last donate blood?
- Do you have a history of any medical illness?
- In the last six months have you had any tattooing, ear piercing or dental extraction?
- Do you have any tattoos? If yes, are they registered?
- Are you taking, or have you taken any kind of medication in the last 72 hours?
One person had his tooth extracted five months ago, he was much overjoyed that this would be the first time he would donate blood. Little did he know that it was not to be. He can donate only after six months.
He was sad but did not lose hope and he said that he would donate at the next blood donation camp.
Another person was also disappointed when he was given a thumbs-down for having tattoos. The fact that he had tattoos was not a problem but as his tattoos were not registered with the Department of Health they could not allow him to proceed.
This was a good lesson for all of us, as we mistakenly assume that if we have tattoos we cannot donate blood anymore. Once we register our tattoos and clear all the required tests we can donate blood anytime.
Those who passed this round were excited to move on to the next.
On getting the green light from the first round, many felt confident about their health.
The second test was for hemoglobin level. Having the right level is very important. High or low levels of hemoglobin will make you unfit for blood donation.
Also, a person should not have poor veins as it is difficult to drain blood out from them.
In this round, some members failed. Out of 25, four people were unable to proceed to the next round. Some had low blood count while others had high level of hemoglobin.
One, in particular, had just enough for herself. We all had a little laugh, and consoled her that it was her thought that counted!
Those who passed this round moved on to the next test which was for blood pressure levels.
This was the last test, while many hoped their BP was normal, that was not the case. We had 10 people with the right blood pressure who were able to donate blood.
While the others had either low or high pressure.
I thought that those who failed the tests were lucky to have found out that their health needed attention. The doctor at the camp counseled them on how they could improve their health.
One of them even said, and I quote, “Starting tomorrow I will begin to exercise and eat only healthy food to maintain my blood pressure”.
It was good to see our people step up and lend themselves to a worthy cause.
A team member quoted, “I feel healthier now and I can’t wait to donate again. I feel a sense of pride in myself as I know I will be saving someone’s life”
All those who participated in the camp have inspired us to follow in their footsteps.
A part of Chillibreeze Mission Statement states that “Through the diligent work of a healthy company, we are transforming lives, creating wealth, providing purpose and adding value to customers, employees, families and community”. We are serving our purpose by giving back to the community.
We are grateful for the Regional Blood Bank, Pasteur Institute, Shillong and the HDFC Bank for making this event a succes.
Have you given back to your locality or community?
Share your story by leaving a comment below.