Consistently our nation requires 5 crore units of blood, from which just 2.5 crore units of blood is accessible. Blood is the key to a healthy body. The World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated every year on June 14th, has a motto to spread attention to the significance of giving blood and urging individuals to give blood.
This World Blood Donor Day, Medicircle conducts a series to create awareness and encourage people to donate blood and save lives.
Dr. Ashish Joshi is the founder of Mumbai Onco Care Center. He is an oncologist and hematologist practicing in Dubai for the last 10 years. He has had a glittering academy in Korea, which includes procuring a gold medal. He has a strong inclination for teaching and is well known for his clinics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. His special areas of interest include treatment of blood cancers, and related disorders, and other solid malignancies like breast colon, lung, prostate, gastrointestinal cancers, bone sarcomas, pediatric cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
Importance of blood transfusion in cancer patients
Dr. Ashish Joshi says, “Cancer patients require blood during the treatment and at multiple levels. One segment of patients is those who are on cancer treatment, especially killer B and some other drugs, which can also reduce the hemoglobin. So, they are in need of blood transfusions, sometimes because of the effect of cancer which results in low hemoglobin. So, they are in need of a transfusion. We also have all of those blood-related disorders and blood cancers because blood production is affected. And hence they require a lot of blood transfusion support. So, in terms of cancer care of blood transfusions is a very important part of the treatment.”
Blood transfusion for cancer patients
Dr. Joshi informs, “Cancer treatment kills the cancer cells and along with them also kills the normal cells and hence you see a lot of low hemoglobin, low platelet counts in patients who are on cancer treatment especially cancer chemotherapy. Because of these low WBC counts, low hemoglobin counts, low platelet counts, their quality of life is partly affected and they feel weak. They are exposed to infections and they are more immunosuppressed. To counter that, we need to sort of boost their immunity. One way of doing it is to give blood transfusions if required. Now, it is very important to understand that blood transfusions are not for all patients with cancer who are on treatment. But for some of those patients especially those who are on a high dose of chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells. We need to support it partially by giving temporary blood transfusions. So that's where the importance of blood transfusion lies in cancer therapy.
By giving a transfusion, the quality of life improves dramatically especially the weakness, the fatigue, breathlessness which gets corrected by giving transfusions.”
Health benefits of blood transfusion
Blood donation is one of the best philanthropy one can do. There are so many patients across the spectrum of medicine who require transfusion
Trauma Dialysis patients Cancer patients Major surgeries.
So, these are the patients who are going to get benefited from receiving a transfusion. Blood transfusion is not the safest thing to do and there are obviously many precautions to be taken so that there are no harmful effects of blood transfusion. It is important to understand that blood transfusion does not mean you will become anemic or your hemoglobin will go down because blood transfusion is only done by people whose immunity and whose reserves are very fit and you can always bounce back. So the importance or other advantages of the transfusion for a donor is the satisfaction that he or she would get by helping somebody else to retrieve and maintain to help cure diseases.
Message from expert
Dr. Joshi states,” Blood donation is extremely important. I think we would urge all, especially young people who wish to help mankind to do philanthropy by opting for a blood transfusion by giving blood donation. It's very safe. It's going to add years and life to so many people who are in and around you.”
(Edited by Dr.Rati Parwani)