I started my journey of donating blood way back in 1991 for a relative of a friend. The next time, I did so at the request of a colleague. I have not looked back since.
I began donating blood twice a year and later increased the frequency to four, and then, even more.
It was in 2015 that Dr Suchit from the Blood Transfusion Department, PGI, guided me about the importance of platelet donation. Dengue outbreak had gripped the tricity that year and I plunged into platelet donation as well. Since then, I have donated platelets 76 times.
Platelets help blood clot. Platelet donation is done through a process called ‘apheresis’, which allows a donor to maximise his or her donation for blood type and give specific components. The ‘apheresis’ instrument uses sterile tubing, chambers and needles to ensure a safe donor experience. The selected component or components are saved and the remaining blood is returned to the donor.
A single platelet donation by ‘apheresis’ can help one patient (single donation). Donors can go in for double platelet donation as well provided they have an adequate platelet count.
I and my wife Rama also got ourselves registered with the PGI for body and organ donation. I have also got myself registered with ‘DATRI’, a Kolkata-based NGO working actively for stem cell donation.
Of course, there will be countless more who have donated blood several times more than I have, or ever will. My salute to them. My salute to every donor — no matter what the frequency, whether one or 100 or more. It is a noble gesture.
I do have my ‘Mission 400’ of donations. It may seem far-fetched, but it pushes me on.
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