One of the most important essential first move for blood donor recruitment is establishing clear goals by estimating pragmatically the blood need of the Country/State/Region/ Blood Bank. For a well established transfusion service, with a long history of success, knowledge of current patterns of blood usage and data of changes from year to year, it is a straightforward matter to project need into the future, to plan blood collection and recruit donors accordingly.The process is much more difficult at the beginning in regions or states where no data is available for any estimation at all. It is, therefore, quite natural that maiden attempts of donor recruitment may result in insufficient blood collection in reality. Surrounding every mountain peak, there are valleys and into these valleys one must go before climbing the peak. There are joys. There are disappointments. There will be success and there will be failure. Blood donor motivators should have a mental makeup to accept both the rough and the smooth. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. And, a beginning has to be made.There may be three principal reasons for failure in the first venture:
When there is no blood, suppressed need of blood would not come to the surface. Blood need will increase with the availability of blood. Even donor awareness campaigns may inculcate the sense of need of blood in the minds of the clinicians and surgeons resulting in irrational use of blood. That should be taken care of when blood would become easily available from the blood banks.There may be a number of approaches for the estimation of blood need. Some are simple and some are complex in character. Some may give an approximate idea and some may give a fairly accurate target. To start with a goal, however approximate, a target is badly needed to set the ball rolling.There are four approaches to estimate how much blood is needed:
Ideally, if 2% of population donates blood, it will be more than sufficient to meet the need of a country like India. For a population of 100 crores (1000 million), 2 crores (20 million) of intending blood donor would be more than sufficient for the country by taking into consideration all possible allowances. The present estimated blood need of India is 80 lakh (8 million) units. In the first method the need of blood can be calculated as 3 to 15 units per hospital bed per year. It may also be calculated as 7 to 20 units per acute hospital bed per year. In the primary health centres, the need may be 3 units per bed per year, while at a super speciality surgical hospital the need may be as high as 25 - 30 units /bed /year. The golden mean may be worked out. With the introduction of open heart surgeries, liver transplants and treatment for oncological disorders in the country, the need of blood in different regions have increased.
The table below indicates the enormous variations of blood donor per 1000 population between different countries.
It will be difficult to get data in many states due to poor documentation and improper record keeping system. Still a survey has to be undertaken. The survey may be based on the following questionnaires
With these data, blood need can be estimated for the state/region/ blood bank for the year.The motivators have to collect another set of data i.e. actual storage capacity of blood bank(s) or transfusion service for which blood donor recruitment is being planned.
Further, to meet each and every blood need, the services will have to stock blood more than the estimated requirement. As it is not known from which blood group patients would come, blood of all groups including rare groups is to be adequately stocked. There may be some marginal periodic so-called ‘wastage’ due to out dating of blood of some groups. A question can be raised: which is better, some one dying for want of right group of blood or some blood bags being discarded after the prescribed expiry period for want of requisition of that particular group?
How do we feel if the unfortunate victim, whose blood need could not be met, is our near and dear one?