Organizing a Blood Donation Drive at Work: A Comprehensive Guide for HR Managers
As I stepped into the Cancer Ward, I saw a poignant message inscribed on a big glossary board: “A single pint of blood can save three lives; a single gesture can create a million smiles." At that very moment, those words took a profound significance as I found myself in dire need of blood for my one-year-old nephew, who was undergoing critical brain tumor surgery. It was a realization that one can truly understand the power of these words when a loved one's life hangs in the balance.
In a race against time, I found myself in a city far away from my hometown where I barely knew anyone. I had desperately shared messages requesting blood donors but never anticipated the overwhelming response. At dawn, outside Fortis Hospital in Gurgaon, a long queue stood of compassionate individuals ready to lend their support and helping hand. This gesture from strangers and friends who came from far-off places to Gurgaon was heartwarming.
The ten-hour-long surgery was a success, and I made sure to convey my gratitude to each and every one of them who stood by my side. This experience left a footprint within me, reminiscent of Mother Teresa's wisdom: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." Inspired by her words and the collective empathy I witnessed in Delhi, I had the desire to contribute to society in a meaningful way. And so, I embarked on a journey to organize blood donation drives in the workplace.
As an HR professional, the workplace is where I carry out my professional responsibilities and where connections are formed and relationships nurtured. It is where I spend a significant proportion of my time interacting with employees from diverse backgrounds. The blood donation drive was a perfect medium to foster employee engagement and social awareness.
In this blog, I share my experiences and insights on conducting a successful blood donation drive at the workplace. I firmly believe that each organization can catalyze positive change, impacting the employees' lives and the broader community.
Blood donation is important in the healthcare system by saving millions of lives. Unfortunately, many patients who require blood transfusions don't have timely access to safe blood.
The Significance of Blood Donation
If we look at the blood donation statistics, as per WHO, about 118.54 million blood donations are collected worldwide. 40% of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 16 % of the world’s population.
In low-income countries, up to 54 % of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age, whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 60 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions.
It is also stated in WHO reports that based on samples of 1000 people, the blood donation rate is 31.5 in high-income countries, 16.4 in upper-middle-income countries, 6.6 in lower-middle-income countries, and 5.0 in low-income countries.
Blood Donation Drive
A blood donation drive may be an event where an individual donates blood voluntarily. This blood is then collected and processed by the Blood Bank. Organizing a blood donation drive at work can be a meaningful way to promote your organization's giving culture.
Types of Blood Donors
There are three categories of blood donors -
Voluntary unpaid- who donates blood voluntarily without exchange of money.
Family/replacement- when a family member donates blood voluntarily.
Paid- paid donors are those who receive money in exchange for blood.
Here are some key points that highlight the health importance of blood donation:
Donating blood not only helps save lives but also offers several health benefits for donors. Here are some health benefits of blood donation:
Improved Cardiovascular Health: Regular blood donation can help reduce the blood's viscosity, lowering blockage risk.
Iron Regulation: Donation helps manage iron levels, preventing health issues.
Calorie Burn: Donating a pint burns around 650 calories, aiding metabolism.
New Blood Cell Production: After donation, the body replenishes the blood loss, which helps produce new blood cells, improving overall health.
Early Detection of Health Issues: Regular blood donation can help in the early detection of health issues. Blood donation centers screen your blood for several diseases and can alert you if they find any issues.
Gender and Age profile for blood donation
As per WHO, 33% of blood donations are given by women, although this ranges widely. In 15 of the 113 reporting countries, less than 10% of donations are given by female donors.
Age factors also play a keen role in blood transfusion. The data by WHO emphasized that, proportionally, more young people donate blood in low and middle-income countries than high-income countries.
Organizing a Blood Donation Drive: A Step-by-Step Guide
An HR Professional can play a pivotal role in organizing blood donation drives. This drives not only to save lives but also fosters a sense of belongingness and altruism among employees.
Organizing blood donation drives in the workplace is easy; it just needs careful planning and execution. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you organize a successful blood donation drive at your workplace:
Planning: The HR professional needs to start by setting a date, time, and venue for the event. The HR professional should ensure that the chosen date does not clash with major events or holidays.
Creating an event Budget: Once you’ve laid the groundwork, the next important step is to create a budget tailored to the drive. Blood donation drives have minimal financial demands.
Blood banks or Ngo’s willingly host these drives pro bono, underscoring their altruistic essence. Secondly, the blood collection agency generously provides refreshments for the blood donors. The sole expenditure revolves around promoting the drive, which includes banners and disseminating informative brochures that aim to foster a deeper understanding of the noble cause.
- Partner with a Blood Collection Agency: The third step is to contact a local blood collection agency or NGOs connected with blood banks to discuss your plan. They will provide the necessary equipment and medical staff for the drive. The HR professional can take a week from the partnering agency to confirm the number of participants willing to donate blood.
Vantage Circle has partnered with the Red Cross Society in the first blood donation drive, and in the second drive, Vantage Circle has partnered with Saharia’s Blood Center.
Promotion: The fourth step is to promote the event within your organization using various channels like email, internal communication groups, posters, and word of mouth. In this step, it is essential to highlight the importance and benefits of blood donation. Also, the myths and misconceptions about blood donation must be addressed through posters, handbooks, and manuals.
Registration: In India, the organization conducting blood donation drives must be registered on the e-rakt Kosh portal. The HR or the blood collection agency can initiate this step. It's a simple process; you must visit the website and provide the organization's details.
Precautions before the event: The day prior to the blood donation drive, it's crucial for the HR professional to send a reminder message on the date, time, and venue. Additionally, they should communicate essential precautions for donors, which include refraining from consuming alcohol before blood donation, avoiding an empty stomach, and ensuring adequate hydration by drinking plenty of water before donation.
On the Day of the Blood Donation Drive: It is essential to ensure the venue is clean and properly arranged, with all necessary preparations. The local blood collection agency sets up the bed and necessary logistics for the blood donation.
As an HR Professional, it’s essential to prioritize the donors' comfort at every stage of the blood donation journey. The steps followed on the event day are as follows:-
Step 1: Registration of Volunteers- Donors fill their personal details in a form issued by the Blood bank.
Step 2: Ozone Hemoglobin test is performed to ensure donors are safe to donate. Females must have a minimum of 12.5g/dL, and males must have 13.0g/dL to donate.
Step 3: Mini Physical Test- Check temperature, pulse & blood pressure.
Step 4: Counseling- To understand the health history of the blood donors.
Step 5: Eligible Donors can donate blood. It takes 15 mins to donate.
- Post-Event: The donors are given healthy snacks and juice after the donation. The donors can be thanked by providing a token of appreciation through certificates and badges.
The event pictures can be shared on social media to encourage more people in future drives. Generally, the Blood bank issues a certificate to the Blood donors. We have employed LifeSaver badges to appreciate these compassionate contributors.
- Feedback: After the blood donation drive, a feedback form is shared. This feedback form aims to help us understand what we did well as an organization and identify areas where we can make enhancements.
Impact of Blood Donation Drives at Work
A blood donation drive at the workplace can make a lot of difference. Some profound differences I have observed during and after the event are stated below:-
Community health: Community health is the collective well-being of community members. It generally refers to simple health services a layman can render to maintain, protect, and improve people's health. A blood donation drive can significantly impact community health by ensuring a steady blood supply for needy people.
Employee engagement: Blood Donation Drive is a great employee engagement and team-building tool.
Positive brand image: Organizations that host blood donation drives exhibit social responsibility, enhancing their image.
Supporting local healthcare facilities: While your organization's primary focus may differ, hosting such initiatives positions you as a pillar. Your effort can aid local hospitals and clinics in maintaining their blood supplies.
Summing it up,
In conclusion, organizing a blood donation drive at work is a noble initiative that benefits the community, the employees, and the organization. As an HR manager, we have the power to make a significant difference by promoting such life-saving initiatives. So, let's roll up our sleeves and make some meaningful difference- one pint at a time.
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