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Blood Donations, the miracle of giving life

Blood donation, the miracle of giving life

Dianelis Ricardo, 29 years old, suffers from thrombopathy, a condition that makes her prone to bleeding in any health situation or medical procedure. Because of this situation, during her pregnancy, before and after childbirth, she needed to be transfused with platelet concentrate, an action that was possible thanks to blood donors who altruistically saved her life and made it possible for her to enjoy her only daughter with her family today.

“I want to thank all the people who voluntarily donated their blood so that today I can be happy and calm with my little girl at home. Your donation, although many do not know it, was of vital importance so that my life was not at risk during childbirth. I would also like to thank the members of the Ministry of the Interior (Minint), my work colleagues, who, when I needed it voluntarily, many went and donated”, she said.

Mother from Holguin, saved by blood donation

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Dianelis Ricardo enjoys her newborn baby thanks to the platelet donation she received. Photo: Maylín Betancourt Verdecia
The young woman explained that being a mother is a dream come true because her health condition only allows her to give birth once. Thrombopathy is a blood coagulation disorder that affects the body’s ability to form clots properly. For this reason it increases the risk of bleeding.

Hence the need for Dianelis to be transfused before she went into labor and also afterwards to reduce the amount of blood lost.

She pointed out that although the number of people who voluntarily donate blood has decreased in relation to previous years, it is still a very important and noble gesture and reiterated that “we will always be indebted to them”.

Every June 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) and its member countries celebrate World Blood Donor Day, in commemoration of the birth in 1930 of Karl Landsteiner, Austrian scientist and biologist who discovered and classified the ABO blood groups, crucial for the development of safe blood transfusions.

In Cuba it is 50 years since the celebration of a national day in salute to the date, from June 6 to 14 each year takes place this day where blood donors are the main characters of this humanitarian work.
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One of the nurses at Holguin Blood Bank

Daisy García Borbón, a nursing graduate who has worked at the Provincial Blood Bank of Holguín for 15 years, pointed out that these days recognize voluntary blood donors for their humanitarian and altruistic value.

In addition, she said that they seek to raise awareness of the need to increase donations, for the sake of a timely and affordable access to blood and its by-products, since it is essential in treatments and surgical interventions.

She also explained that “it increases the life expectancy of those suffering from oncohematological diseases and guarantees maternal and child care. It is necessary to encourage this noble action in young people and in the population in general, always with the mission of guaranteeing blood products to all the patients who need them”.

She added that the Provincial Blood Bank has a very well-designed work platform, with a highly professional staff committed to this task.

Its objectives, mission and purposes are directed in coordination with the demand for medical attention to the population of Holguin, which translates into patients in need of blood. However, if there is not the disposition of an extended arm, ready to donate, there will be no way to produce this liquid so necessary in the life of the human being.

Blood donors, Holguín

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Voluntary blood donors in Holguin. File photo.

Pedro Rodrigo Batista is a worker from the Provincial Blood Bank and at the same time a blood donor since 1992, when a call was made by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR).

“From then on I have donated frequently and in 2017 I entered the plasma donor program, where I remain today. Until today I accumulate around 194 blood donations, between blood and plasma, which is something I have contributed to save a life and for the manufacture of medicines and gamma globulin. You can save three lives with one donation and I think about the human aspect of what I do, in solidarity with a person you may not know but who really needs it”, he insisted.

Maurizan Labrada Almarales has been a special blood donor for 26 years, during which time he has accumulated close to a thousand donations.

When asked how it feels to be a person who has contributed to save so many lives, Mayito, as he is also known, explained: “I have always liked to help everyone and I clarify to those who say that donating hurts, that over time you deteriorate your health, that is not so because I have been donating for 20 years, and I have never felt any bad symptoms, rather it has helped me spiritually to maintain a strong health. So it does not harm your health, it does not affect anything. It only favors you, it helps your breathing”.

Yanelis Valdés Paneque was 22 years old when she donated because of a family problem and since then her story as a blood donor began. “I have a sister who was going to have surgery on her head and needed a donation. And I immediately when I heard about it, I went to the BPS and did it. I accumulated 30 donations and I do it every four months, until today. I find that this way I help other people, who need it. And then I got motivated, I kept doing it and I like it so far”.

Likewise, Dania González Montero, who works at the Provincial School of Physical Education Teachers (INDER) has been a voluntary donor for 10 years and assures that, as long as her health allows it, she will continue donating blood because it means saving lives not only in Cuba, but worldwide.

She said that her first blood donation was because her mother needed an operation and as her blood group and factor were compatible with hers, which is A negative, very scarce in the province, she was motivated to become a volunteer donor.

The joy of saving lives through blood donation is immense. This important activity involves donors, patients, family members and even the workers themselves who strive every day to ensure medical and hospital assistance.

Although they are sort of anonymous heroes who go unnoticed, their mark is imprinted on patients like Dianelis Ricardo who today are grateful for the miracle of life to these brave people who decided to donate their blood.

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