Myth: Replacement donation is the same as voluntary blood donation

Blood donation

Replacement donation is the same as voluntary blood donation ?!

replacement donation

Fact: Both are not the same. A voluntary donation is when a donor donates #blood out of free will without being asked or forced. The #donor does not expect anything in return for the donated blood. Replacement blood donation or #forceddonation is when the hospital staff asks the relatives of a patient to donate blood to replace the used blood. In most cases, hospitals compel the relatives to find donors for substituting the used #bloodbags to maintain the #bloodstock of the hospital #bloodbank.

Replacement blood donation is when a hospital asks the friends and relatives of a patient to donate blood to restore the units utilised for the patient. The National Blood Policy formulated in 2002 states that no hospital should depend on replacement donors. The policy says that replacement blood donation should be gradually phased out. 

In systems based on voluntary blood donation, patients have improved access to safe blood transfusion in routine and emergency situations, without which their survival or quality of life might be threatened. The blood and blood products they receive carry a low risk of infection that might further compromise their health. They are not placed under pressure to find blood donors in order to receive treatment and feel a sense of being cared for by others whom they will never meet. In turn, this may motivate a spirit of generosity and a desire for reciprocal volunteering in the future.

Blood Transfusion Myth Busted

#Bloodtransfusion is possible without thawing #blood to room temperature. After taking a #bloodbag out of the refrigerator, it is mandatory to begin blood transfusion within 30 minutes. #Clinicaltransfusion guidelines approved by #WHO state that administering cold blood at slow rates does not affect the patient adversely. Hence, it is not mandatory to warm the blood.

However, we must thaw blood to room temperature for :
– exchange transfusion in infants
– patients with clinically significant agglutinins
– large volume rapid transfusion – flow rate more than 50ml/kg/hr for adults and above 15ml/kg/hr for children.

We must use only blood warmers for warming blood. Using hot water to warm cold blood will lead to hemolysis of RBC which is life-threatening upon transfusion. Once we take out a #bloodbag from a temperature-controlled storage environment, it is necessary to #transfuse it or return it, if not transfused within 30 minutes. If the blood bag is left out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes, the chance of bacteria contamination in the blood is more.

The #bloodbankmanagementsystem#Bagmo, assists the staff at the blood bank to track the temperature and quality of individual blood bags. The #Bagmo#bloodbagmonitoringsystem alerts the staff if a blood bag is out of a BBR for 30 minutes or more. Hence, ensuring safe blood and reducing wastage.

1. World Health Organization. (2020). Clinical transfusion practice: guidelines for medical interns. Available at:https://www.who.nt/bloodsafety/transfusion_services/ClinicalTransfusionPracticeGuidelinesforMedicalInternsBangladesh. pdf. Accessed July, 2.
2. Brunskill, S., Thomas, S., Whitmore, E., McDonald, C. P., Dorée, C., Hopewell, S., … & Murphy, M. F. (2012). What is the maximum time that a unit of red blood cells can be safely left out of controlled temperature storage?. Transfusion medicine reviews, 26(3), 209-223.