BRS Blood Donor Day
By Chris Elliott
No matter who or where, at some time there is going to be an emergency and someone will need blood and often in a life saving scenario and at this time no matter where we are, we rely on the State or private medical organisations to provide that very precious blood we need.
Blood is something that is living within us and what finer gift can be made than when we give it for the benefit of another person.
It’s not always been this simple as National Health Blood Service, UK and Wikipedia tell us. In 1660 Richard Lower gave the first successful blood transfusion, albeit to an animal. There followed other major achievements and discoveries in the years ahead.
- In the early 19th century, British obstetrician Dr. James Blundell made efforts to treat a haemorrhage by transfusion of human blood using a syringe. In 1818 following experiments with animals, he performed the first successful transfusion of human blood to treat postpartum haemorrhage. Blundell used the patient’s husband as a donor, and extracted four ounces of blood from his arm to transfuse into his wife.
- In 1840, at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London, Samuel Armstrong Lane, aided by Dr. Blundell, performed the first successful whole blood transfusion to treat haemophilia.
- The First World War acted as a catalyst for the rapid development of blood banks and transfusion techniques. The first blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled was performed on January 1, 1916. Geoffrey Keynes, a British surgeon, developed a portable machine that could store blood to enable transfusions to be carried out more easily. His work was recognized as saving thousands of lives during the war. Oswald Hope Robertson, a medical researcher and U.S. Army officer, is generally credited with establishing the first blood bank while serving in France during World War I.
So it was on Saturday 20th April, I went to Chateau Lambousa, Lapta on a number of research projects and went into the British Residents’ Society Blood Donor Day and when I spoke to Prue Lundie she told me they were having a very good day with around 38 donations being made and later I saw the medical team loading their ambulance and they told me they had received 49 donations which was excellent news.
Reflecting on a time when I had to care for my late wife and seeing how much blood she needed and later being hospitalised myself with a broken hip I was very grateful to Prue and the BRS for finding donors to provide blood for use during my operation and medical treatment.
One day perhaps we all may all need a donation and we recommend you register as a regular blood donor with the British Residents’ Society or the new Emergency Blood Donor scheme.
You can see more of the BRS Blood Donor Day and much more by viewing the video below.