A virtual blood-bank
Now procuring blood is just a click away with a blood-donors' site that can provide even rare blood groups.health and fitness Updated: Jun 16, 2007 17:40 IST
There is good news for patients with rare blood groups and badly needing transfusions. Just click the mouse.
Log on to indianblooddonors.com, and donors for any group will reach you in 30 minutes for free. So says a social service group that has been catering to the needy for seven years.
Concerned about the shortage of blood of rare groups, the group launched the website in March 2000.
"Indianblooddonors.com is an address which can save your life. From Adilabad to Yamuna Nagar, from the most common blood group to the most rare, the site has a huge database of blood donors. So if you need blood, it's a good place to turn to. And it is free," reads the website.
"There is always an acute shortage of blood in most government and private blood banks across the country. Many times, during emergencies and major operations, it becomes difficult for patients and relatives to procure blood," said Nagpur-based Khushroo Poacha, who co-founded the website with his wife Fermin.
"From a humble beginning in March 2000, today we have over 45,000 registered donors from across the country. We can get blood donated today to the needy in any part of India in less than 30 minutes," said Poacha .
An Indian Railways computer supervisor, Pocha says any healthy person interested in donating blood can register on the site and provide details like name, age, blood group, residential address and contact number, preferably a mobile phone number.
A needy patient or a relative can access the site and put in a request. An SMS is then sent to the donor located nearest to the hospital where the patient is. The patient or his relative is also informed about the identity of the donor.
As for security and misuse of donated blood, Poacha said specific identification numbers are given to donors.
"Before giving out the donor contact numbers, we also run a few authentication checks on the patients and their relatives.
"All this hardly takes more than 20-30 minutes. So we can get blood donated to a needy patient anywhere across the country within 30 minutes," he said.
Poacha said that Fermin takes care of mails from donors and patients, while he looks after the day-to-day administration of the site.
"The idea of setting up the blood donors site came from personal experience. A friend's employee urgently needed the rare O-Negative blood. After searching for the blood group for four days, he died," he said.
For those who are not net savvy, Poacha is devising a new format of blood donation.
"Many patients may not be able to access the site. For them we are shortly introducing donor smart cards. These will be like railway coupons kept with the hospitals across the country.
"When a patient is asked by doctors to procure blood, they can contact the hospital authorities from the coupons on which our contact numbers will be provided along with a scratch out one-time secret code. The patient or their relatives can contact us and read out the code numbers," said Poacha.