For the first time, the Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to sanction blood donors' rights, where a donor will be given priority in a hospital blood bank, in case, he faces any emergency.
Speaking on the National Voluntary Blood Donation Day at Srinagar’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Hospital (JLNMH), being observed since 1975 in the country, state health minister Shabir Khan directed the state hospitals to issue cards to regular blood donors to maintain a data-bank on the number of pints donated by a person and his personal details.
“As a right of a blood donor, our hospitals will ensure that in case any donor needs blood in the future, he should be given it on a priority basis by the blood bank on his record as a blood donor,” said Khan.
The health minister said the move to have donors’ rights on a hospital blood bank will go a long way in encouraging more donors and recognising their contribution.
The conflict-ridden Kashmir valley is frequently exposed to violent incidents like blasts and shoot outs. Most hospitals in summer capital Srinagar complain of blood shortage during the times of exigencies and multiple militant attacks or during the violent street protests.
Several deaths during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 street protests at district levels were attributed to lack of blood banks.
The government is now focusing to have blood banks at newly created district hospitals to reduce the chances of deaths in case of emergencies and the time wasted in referring a critical patient.
“Our focus will be on blood banks at district levels now,” said the health minister.
The government is running campaigns to motivate more people to donate blood. “It is heartening to see that reluctance on the part of blood donors in the past has waned. A number of young volunteers are coming forth to donate blood now with awareness taking roots,” said Khan.
“What could be more fulfilling than a human being saving a human beings life,” he added.
Director health services Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman also donated blood on the occasion. The JLNM medicos donated 35 pints towards the blood bank. “Our aim is to inculcate a sense of responsibility among people to feel free to donate blood, which is lifeline of surgeries,” said Dr Rehman.
Referring to the national data where every two seconds a patient needs blood, Dr Afaq Khan said, “Blood donation need to turn into a mass movement to save lives of people.”
The JLNM has succeeded to have around 300 pints from donors in year 2012-13.
Madhu Khullar, director, J&K State Aids Control Society, said, “A blood donor saves lives of three persons. From blood transfusion to plasma and platelets requirements, donors help save precious lives. A doctor at a hospital can only offer to conduct surgeries only when the blood bank has required blood.”