A successful blood donation camp at IIITB



As many as 172 IIITB students and staff came together to donate blood and blood stem cell at the blood donation camp organized on the campus in Electronic city on September 5. The camp set up by Bangalore Medical Services Trust (BMST), a not for profit organization working in the field of blood banking and transfusion, was organized with the aim to encourage the youth to donate blood and to spread awareness. 

The event turned out to be a hit among students as many dropped by for the noble cause. “I came to donate blood last year as well, but could not do it due to low blood pressure. I am happy I could donate this time. I am also a registered stem cell donor with BMST and waiting for my match,” said Lasya KV, a third year Imtech student at IIITB. 

The event was conducted under the supervision of specialized doctors and nurses. “I have been donating blood regularly. My blood group is O positive and I am a universal donor. This makes it imperative that I donate. However, I was not aware of blood stem cell donation and the process behind it. I am taking this as an opportunity to learn about it and also get registered as a donor,” said Shivani Rajesh Shah, a first year MS student at IIITB. 

Students were educated about various aspects of blood and blood stem cell donation. “Finding a donor for blood stem cell is especially difficult for Indian patients, since substantially less Indians are registered as potential blood stem cell donors. We are taking this opportunity to make students aware about blood stem cell donation and its various aspects,” said Chinma KM, senior associate, donor recruitment team, BMST.

BMST has been setting organizing blood donation camps at IIITB campus for many years and feels that the response has been incredible.  “We supports government and private hospitals with the blood units collected at such camps and we meet 35% - 40% of the blood demand at government hospitals in Karnataka. We also get thalassemia patients coming to our NGO for blood transfusion. IIITB has been supporting us for over last ten years and the response has been amazing. Last year, we collected 93 units from the campus,” said Aparna Ananthakrishnan, blood donation camp coordinator, BMST. 

Blood stem cell donation

Blood stem cell donation is a lifesaving treatment for patients with blood cancer or blood disorder by replacing unhealthy cells with healthy blood-forming cells. For many patients suffering with blood disorder, stem cell transplant is often their only chance of survival. Finding a match for someone in need of a blood stem cell donation is challenging because the tissue characteristics of the patient and the donor must match almost exactly. To be considered as a match, the donor and patient must share same tissue characteristics. Cheek swab is used as a sample to find the match.