First Ever Platelet Donor Helpline in India

First Ever Platelet Donor Helpline in India

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Highlights:
  • An online platelet donor helpline has been launched by the mosquito repellent brand Godrej Hit in 2016 which now has over 1.5 lakh persons registered as platelet donors aiming to save lives of dengue fever patients
  • In such a situation, the families of patients can download the Hit -Track The Bite app, which from either the Google Play store or the iPhone App Store on their smartphone. The App provides the list of 24 x 7 helplines in six major cities - Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Hyderabad
  • Dengue fever cases have been rising alarmingly in India with an increase from less than 60,000 cases in 2009, dengue to 2,89,575 in 2018 (including the writer of this article), a spike of nearly 500% during this period
India's first platelet donor helpline founded in 2016, now has over 1.5 lakh registered platelet donors who can be contacted by families through the 24 x 7 helpline number 7878782020. The family members of the patients can download the 'Hit - Track The Bite' app, where it provides the list of 24 x 7 helplines in six major cities - Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Hyderabad.

Why Is It Necessary to Create A Platelet Donor Helpline?

Once donated, platelets can only be stored or must be used within 5 days, which limits the availability of fresh platelets in many centers during emergencies. Due to the gap in the supply of fresh platelets and the increasing demand, precious lives may be lost due to unavailability of platelets. Unfortunately, the current supply-demand ratio is 2:10.
First Ever Platelet Donor Helpline in India

The online platelet donor helpline aims to overcome this gap by registering volunteers as platelet donors who come forward to donate their platelets during an emergency.

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During an emergency, relatives of dengue patients can call on HIT Platelet helpline '7878782020' to request for platelet donation. Following the request, registered donors are informed through SMS and/or calls and SMS.

The platelet donor can go directly to the hospital where the patient is admitted or the platelets may visit their nearest Apollo Hospital, the medical partner for the helpline, to donate platelets even if the patient is not admitted there. The platelets will then be sent to the patient.

Speaking on the initiative, Ms Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, "Vector-borne diseases like dengue are emerging as a threat to public health in India. To address this issue, we at Apollo Hospitals, have tied-up with Godrej HIT to build a platelet donor community. Through this initiative, we are trying to bridge the disparity in awareness and provide ready resources to manage diseases like dengue."

Is Platelet Donation Safe & Who Can Donate Platelets?

This will be a question asked by persons before registering as a platelet donor. Platelet donation is a safe procedure. Platelets are obtained from the donor by a process called apheresis that permits extraction of large numbers of platelets from the donor's blood and replacing the red cells and plasma back into the bloodstream. Thus, the donor does not feel as weak as compared to when donating whole blood. He can resume his routine activities soon. In fact, the body replaces the donated platelets within 24 hours.

Anyone can donate platelets as long as they are not on aspirin or similar drugs or have not taken the medication in the previous 1-2 days. You can donate platelets up to 24 times in a year unlike whole blood donation which can be done only up to 4 times a year.

How To Register To Become A Platelet Donor

Persons wanting to donate platelets and save the lives of patients with dengue fever, can download the Hit - Track The Bite app from the Google Play store or the iPhone App Store and register their names and details, which will be used to contact them during an emergency.

About Platelets in Brief

Platelets are the smallest cells in the blood (the other two being red blood cells and white blood cells) and play an important role in clotting of blood following and prevent blood loss which can be serious otherwise. When the platelet count drops to below 20.000/ cu.mm, there is a significantly increased risk of internal bleeding and even death.

Summary

India's first ever online platelet donor helpline launched by Godrej Hit has over 1.5 lakh registered donors, with the aim of saving the lives of dengue patients who are at risk of a sudden drop in platelet count and uncontrolled bleeding. The 24 x 7 helpline number is 7878782020.

Source: Medindia

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