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NEWS
History & Background
We exist to serve the community

Voluntary blood donation has been an integral part of the service activities of Lions in the Lions District 324 A-1 for over two decades. Since the administration changes every year at the District and Club levels, it was felt that continuity could not be maintained to persevere and improve the efforts being made to propagate the concept of Voluntary Blood Donation. Besides, there was the long felt need to have a centrally located place where voluntary blood donors could walk in, donate blood under ideal conditions and walk away without the need for waiting or mixing with professional blood donors. These facts daunted when voluntary blood donation was adopted as the Lions District Program by the then Lions District Governor Lion Dr R. Rabindranath in the year 1983-1984.

Lions Club of Madras Egmore accepted this challenging task of organizing and successfully administering a Blood Bank. The need then was mobilization of voluntary donors by sensitizing the community and offers a centrally located center and congenial ambiance for blood donation. The outcome of their efforts is today our pride - "Lions Blood Bank & Research Foundation" - a standing monument of peoples' initiative and sustained efforts to solve a problem. This Designated Regional Blood Centre has been awarded the status of District Level Blood Bank by the National AIDS Control Organization who also provides testing kits and blood bank consumables on a monthly basis considering our good work in the field of public service activities.

This prestigious project was commissioned on 30th June 1984 during the gubernatorial year of Lion Dr R Rabindranath and inaugurated by the then Health Minister, Government of Madras, Lion Dr H V Hande. Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa visited the Blood Bank on March 3, 1985 and blessed the project while appreciating the move to help "God's People". Past Lions District Governor Lion T.J. George, the Charter President of the Lions Club of Madras Egmore was the Founder Chairman of the blood bank.

This Project, a Public Charitable Trust and an integral part of the Lions Club International - the largest and most vibrant service organization in the world, receives support from over 170 Lions / Lioness / Leo Clubs with a membership of over 6000 committed citizens who are actively involved in this Life Saving Project. This was the first licensed Blood Bank in the entire State of Madras. The Blood Bank conforms to all the mandatory regulations laid down by the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945. It also has the distinction of being the first project in the Lions District 324-A1 of the Lions Clubs International to receive a standard grant from the Lions Club International Foundation to the tune of US $ 28,000. About 90% of the Clubs in the District have generously contributed to this project and continue to support with donations and by motivating voluntary donors to come and donate blood. It was a response to a need that has no substitute, even today.

 
Blood Collection & Distribution

While demand has grown exponentially, the supply does not keep pace.

Blood banks like Lions bridge the shortfall by separating the blood into components and supplying just the component each patient needs. Thus, we augment the community's blood supply by harnessing technology to the cause of Blood Security.

Donors are needed throughout the year but are mostly in short supply in the summer and around the festive Diwali season. During these times the demand for blood is very high but the supply is alarmingly low. Only blood banks with donors who regularly donate blood can be of real help to the community in emergencies and disasters.

To combat this demand-supply mismatch, the community needs to donate blood throughout the year. We urge all eligible donors to donate blood every three months regularly.

The blood bank processes around 30,000 units per annum, collected only from voluntary blood donors. It maintains a high standard of blood banking procedures to ensure the issue of safe and quality blood and its components to the needy and also free of the processing charges to the poor. Over 500 hospitals / nursing homes regularly requisition their need for blood and components from this premier Blood Bank - a sign of total acceptance and trust from the medical profession. Over 60,000 units of blood and components are issued to various hospital in and around the city of Chennai every year by this Blood Bank.

From a humble beginning it made in 1984 and with the untiring and zealous approach of many philanthropists, today, it has made a remarkable progress and has carved a niche among the hospitals and the medical practitioners for supply of quality products. This project has invested about Rs 10,000,000 for its expansion program for production of blood components during the period 1998-1999.

The Blood Bank aims to sustain the efforts for structured progress towards obliterating the gap between demand and supply through organizing voluntary donor banks - GOLD (Gift of Life Donors) club membership, shortening the response time by effective networking of Blood Banks, donor organizations and hospitals through a Toll Free call center ultimately extending facilities like satellite blood centers so that blood reaches even the people working in the fields.
Blood is a resource entrusted to us by the community. We act as stewards, ensuring that the precious Gift of Life donated by healthy volunteers becomes a Life Saving Medicine for the patient who needs it.

To do this, we reach out to the community, creating awareness about the need for blood, encouraging eligible donors to donate, even going to the doorsteps of those who cannot come to Lions Blood Bank to donate.

At Lions Blood Bank, each unit of blood passes through a rigorous screening process for Malaria, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis and HIV. One percent of all produced components are subjected to rigorous analysis by in-house and independent laboratories, in order to maintain the highest quality of blood products and ensure that the risk of infections being transmitted by transfusion is minimal.

The donated blood is returned to the community as Life Saving Blood products. Up to 70-80% of blood collected at Lions Blood Bank is separated into its constituent components.

Patients are given only the component they require, reducing the transfusion of whole blood. Thus we make a critical contribution to the community's blood resources, saving up to three precious lives with one unit of donated blood.

This community based blood banking philosophy has helped us gain and keep the confidence of key constituents - medical practitioners, blood donors, recipients of blood products, volunteers and the healthcare administration.

However, our work does not end with ensuring a safe and sufficient blood supply to the community.

Lions Blood Bank is an initiative of the Lions Club of Madras Egmore, an NGO, and a registered Charitable Trust working on a Not for Profit basis.

 
Lions Blood Bank Satisfies A Basic Human Need
  • the need to save valuable human lives from the jaws of death whenever possible
    the need to inculcate a sense of dedication in persons to take up this service and a sense of commitment that it is very much their duty to give not merely some portion of time and treasure but also a small portion of their own blood.
  • the need for voluntary blood donation will continue with the increased incidences of accidents and other causes demanding blood transfusion to the victims.
  • Some areas of the country need more blood than they are able to collect, while others can collect more than they need. Areas with major medical centers and hospitals which serve patients from all over the country always need more blood.

We envisage a sophisticated nationwide system of sharing blood, based on patient need. Each community utilizes the blood it donates to first meet its own needs. Excess supply is shared with other communities who need it the most.

To accomplish this, we continually seek to encourage collaboration among blood organizations to optimize blood utilization in India.

 
Societal Contributions

Developing A Culture Of Blood Donation.
We all assume that if and when we need blood, it will be there. Unfortunately, this is just not true.

There is a tremendous need for blood in our country and that need is growing every year. Many people consider it a right to receive blood, but don't often consider the responsibility of giving blood to maintain the community supply for others. In fact only 0.2% of those eligible to donate blood, actually donate.

To combat blood shortages, we must come together and create a new generation of blood donors. Lions Blood Bank plays a vital role in creating this culture of donation

During the past five years, Lions Blood Bank has developed a base of close to 85,000 donors. This is made possible by the efforts of our ambassadors and volunteers.

Our ambassadors are social leaders from Lions Clubs, our links to social and spiritual groups who lend their credibility and goodwill to our cause.

Assured Supply To Hemophilia And Thalassemia Patients
We at Lions Blood Bank believe that no patient should ever be left to wonder if the lifesaving blood they need will be available to them. People with hemophilia, thalassemia and others who need regular blood transfusions rely on us for a readily available supply of blood. These patients need blood to help save or enhance their lives and Lions Blood Bank promises them a assured supply whenever they need it.

Discounts To Special Sections Of Society
To accomplish our objective of providing safe blood products to all those in need, we provide components free of cost or at a discounted service charge to some special sections of society.

Among those who benefit from Lions Blood Bank's largesse are the poor and needy, lifetime users like haemophiliacs and thallasemics etc. These discounts and subsidies are channelized through Government and Corporation hospitals and private practitioners. About 20% of the blood collected through blood camps are issued FREE OF SERVICE CHARGE to Govt Hospitals in Chennai for the benefit of economically weaker patients.

 
Academic Contribution

As science reveals newer and more complex solutions to some of life's problems, the demand for knowledge explodes. At Lions Blood Bank, we seek avenues to share our skills, knowledge and experience with the rest of the healthcare fraternity, answering their questions the way someone once answered ours.

Such co-operation results in improved blood banking practices and has led to improved patient care and a more cost effective blood program. Participation in these educational programs helps build an important bond between Lions Blood Bank, the healthcare community and the community at large.

Technical Trainings Imparted
For quality, safety and efficacy of blood and blood products, well-equipped blood centres with adequate infrastructure and trained manpower are an essential requirement. We share our learning at Lions Blood Bank with our fellow blood bankers, storage centres, and hospitals through extensive technical training sessions that promote the industry best practices.

Continuing Medical Education
At Lions Blood Bank, we are committed to helping medical professionals meet the increasing challenges and demands of today's healthcare environment. We play a valuable role by promoting a better understanding of the science of blood banking. To facilitate the efficient and effective clinical use of blood, we organize free, easy to access, highly interactive CME programs.

 
Community Healthcare Initiative

Fight Out Anaemia Campaign
Lions Blood Bank plans to launch a "Beat the Anaemia" campaign, an information led was on the debilitating but easily treatable disease that affects approximately 15-25% of the population and over 90% of the women in the community.

Every donor who volunteers and is deferred due to low haemoglobin levels, receives a detailed information on the probable causes of anaemia, the dietary changes that help to combat this and the immediate need to consult a medical practitioner.

 
Revenue and Expenses

Lions Blood Bank is self sustaining, not for profit organization. Whatever revenue it generates is utilized to meet its operating costs and reinvested to upgrade the technical infrastructure.

There is never a fee for blood itself.

A service charge is levied to recover expenses incurred in recruiting and educating donors, keeping accurate donor records, collecting, testing, processing and distributing blood. These charges help to offset the costs of making the blood transfusions as safe as possible.

 
Subsidies Provided

Rich or poor, afflictions strike every segment of society. When disease strikes, money should never be a barrier to getting the most effective treatment. At Lions Blood Bank, we seek to help even the poorest of the poor live normal healthy lives. We have distributed free blood products worth Rs 2,890,400 in the last five years.

 
Repeat Donations

If half the people who donate once a year were to donate a second time, India would not have shortage of blood. According to the World Health Organization, a large base of voluntary, repeat donors is the foundation of a safe and adequate blood supply.

At Lions Blood Bank, 15-20% of the donors are regular donors who donate blood through the year. This year, with intensive awareness efforts planned by our team of volunteers, we expect to increase our regular donor base to 30%.

A young donor base indicates a new generation of donors, who are likely to continue donating blood for a long span of time. The younger the base, the greater the chances of an assured future blood supply for the community.

Traditionally, women have not been active blood donors, mainly due to poor health.

One reason cited by people who do not donate blood is that they do not have the time to go to the blood bank and donate.

To help them donate blood, we at Lions Blood Bank, go to their doorsteps. About 70% of the blood collected at Lions Blood Bank comes from blood camps held at corporate houses, educational institutions, residential complexes etc

 
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