Fully Automated Cell Separator Launched to Mark Blood Donation Week at AJ Hospital

Fully Automated Cell Separator Launched to Mark Voluntary Blood Donation week at AJ Hospital & Research Centre as part of World Blood Donor Day, which is on 14 June

Mangaluru: This year, World Blood Donor Day will once again be celebrated around the world on 14 June. The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and also to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products, as an integral part of universal health coverage and a key component of effective health systems.

Transfusion of blood and blood products save millions of lives every year. Blood and blood products are essential components in the proper management of women suffering from bleeding associated with pregnancy and childbirth; children suffering from severe anemia due to malaria and malnutrition; patients with blood and bone marrow disorders, inherited disorders of haemoglobin and immune deficiency conditions; victims of trauma, emergencies, disasters and accidents; as well as patients undergoing advanced medical and surgical procedures. Although the need for blood and blood products is universal, there is a marked difference in the level of access to safe blood and blood products across and within countries.

Blood services face the additional challenge of making sufficient blood and blood products available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. The theme of this year’s campaign is blood donation and universal access to safe blood transfusion, as a component of achieving universal health coverage. They have developed the slogan “Safe Blood For All” to raise awareness of the universal need for safe blood in the delivery of health care and the crucial roles that voluntary donations play in achieving the goal of universal health coverage. The theme strongly encourages more people to become blood donors and donate blood regularly – actions which are key to building a strong foundation of sustainable national blood supplies that are sufficient to meet the needs of all patients requiring transfusion.

Locally, A J Blood Bank of A J Hospital & Research Centre on the occasion of World Blood Donor Day which falls on 14 June, organized a programme to launch the “Fully Automate Cell Separator” ( Single Donor Platelet-Apheresis) and the inauguration also of the Voluntary Blood Donation Week, starting from 12 June until 18 June, at the Conference Hall of AJ Hospital & Research Centre on Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at 10.15 am. The programme began with a prayer song in invoking God’s blessings, followed by a brief introduction of Blood Bank at AJ Hospital by Dr Prashanth Marla- Medical Director at AJ Hospital, along with an audio-video presentation of Blood Donation. The welcome address was delivered by Dr Arvind P- the Blood Bank Officer. Prior to the inauguration of the programme, there was a guest lecture on the topic “Apheresis and its Applications in Clinical Practice” by Dr Ankith Mathur- Consultant-Transfusion Medicine, Transplant Immunology-Rotary TTK Blood Bank, Bengaluru.

The programme was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by chief guest Dr Ashok Hegde- Dean of AJ Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Centre, along with other dignitaries on the dais, namely- Dr Ankith Mathur; Dr Prashanth Marla; Dr Amitha P Marla- Director-Medical Administration; Dr Arvind- P- Blood Bank Officer and P R Gopalkrishna-Quality & Technical Manager at Blood Bank. In his inaugural address, Dr Ashok Hegde said, ” World Blood Donor Week is organized in order to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions. A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system”.

“The objectives of this year’s WBDD campaign are: To celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood and to encourage those who have not yet donated blood to start donating; to highlight the need for committed, year-round blood donation, to maintain adequate supplies and achieve universal and timely access to safe blood transfusion; to focus attention on donor health and the quality of donor care as critical factors in building donor commitment and a willingness to donate regularly; to demonstrate the need for universal access to safe blood transfusion and provide advocacy on its role in the provision of effective health care and in achieving the goal of universal health coverage; to mobilize support at national, regional and global levels among governments and development partners to invest in, strengthen and sustain national blood programmes. We are happy to note that in the entire state among 100 of Blood Banks, the Blood Bank at AJ Hospital is accredited with NABH Accreditation – 2017” added Dr Hegde.

The vote of thanks was proposed by PR Gopalkrishna, and the programme was compered by Dr Varsha, a PG in Pathology, while the media coordinator was Ms Lidwin, from the AJ marketing dept. Following the formal programme the launching of the ‘Fully Automated Cell Separator” took place at the Blood Bank Centre, graced by all the dignitaries present at the formal function. By the introduction of this equipment, AJ Hospital adds another chapter in its history, where the equipment helps in Apheresis technology in which blood is withdrawn from a donor or patient in an anticoagulant solution and separated into components. One component is retained and remaining constituents are returned to the individual. The important advantage of this equipment is its simplicity in operation and only single venipuncture is required. The added advantage is that a donor can donate blood within a week as compared to traditional donation, where a minimum of three months is required between one voluntary blood donation to the other.

While concluding, if the right BLOOD gets to the RIGHT Patient at the RIGHT Time, we can save many lives. Therefore, DONATE BLOOD & Save LIVES!

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