*Representational Picture Courtesymedia.healthdirect.org.au

Sudip Oraon,a tribal farmer,was undergoing treatment in hospital.He suffered from heart ailment and needed blood of the Group AB.His wife and family members loitered around in the town.However,in absence of a donor of the same blood group,he died.

Oraon is not a strange case.Like him there were scores of patients who faced untold hurdles to locate the blood donor.This problem of the patients may get resolved if the directive of the Jharkhand High Court asking the state government to design a mobile app to disseminate information about the availability of blood in various blood banks was followed.

In fact,responding to the division bench comprising Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh and Justice B.B.Mangalmurti's directive,the state health department officials were learnt to be exploring IT experts to come up with this kind of mobile app."Soon,we will have an app",said a senior state government officer of the health department.

In its directive,the court,while hearing a PIL filed by Atul Gera for streamlining the functioning of blood banks and implementing the national blood policy in Jharkhand,the bench on December 13 said,"Information on availability of blood in the nearest blood banks,if available on mobile handsets,will prove to be very helpful in case of emergencies...Lack of proper information is the most common cause for casualties in an emergency." 


Although all blood is made of the same basic elements, not all blood is alike. In fact, there are eight different common blood types, which are determined by the presence or absence of certain antigens – substances that can trigger an immune response if they are foreign to the body. Since some antigens can trigger a patient's immune system to attack the transfused blood, safe blood transfusions depend on careful blood typing and cross-matching.

There are four major blood groups determined by presence or absence of two antigens-A and B-on the surface of red blood cells:

  • Group A – has only the A antigen on red cells (and B antibody in the plasma)
  • Group B – has only the B antigen on red cells (and A antibody in the plasma)
  • Group AB – has both A and B antigens on red cells (but neither A nor B antibody in the plasma)
  • Group O – has neither A nor B antigens on red cells (but both A and B antibody are in the plasma)

There are very specific ways in which blood types must be matched for a safe transfusion.

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