Stories about blood

Every blood donor is a hero, are you?

June 14 is the day the world celebrates ‘World Blood Donor Day’ to honour and encourage those individuals who selflessly donate their blood with no expectations in return. Today, we commemorate this noble cause that helps save millions of lives around the globe. World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) was first observed on June 14, 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa as a tribute Karl Landsteiner. Landsteiner is a Nobel Prize winner who discovered the ABO blood group system and so we celebrate the WBDD on his birthday to honour his work. The theme of the 2012 WBDD campaign is ‘Every blood donor is ...

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My sister didn’t visit the Punjab Institute of Cardiology

I visited Pakistan this winter to spend my holidays with my family.  After spending some lovely days with my parents at my dad’s farmhouse in the cool country side of Sargodha – the world’s best citrus fruit producing area – and returned to Rawalpindi for some work. While driving along the way, I received a phone call from my sister. She told me she had an intestinal gas problem, which had resulted in low blood pressure and had caused her to faint. By the time she called me, thankfully, she was feeling better. ‘Intestinal gas’ is the ultimate diagnosis in our ...

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Is my blood not good enough for you?

I was casually walking in the Ibn Batuta Mall with a friend when I saw the Dubai Blood Donation Centre kiosk. The moment I saw it, I decided that I had to donate blood. A couple of girls sat behind the desk with hundreds of forms, while other volunteers walked around asking people to donate blood.  My friend had to look after his daughter, so he decided to wait and watch while I went to donate blood. I walked towards the desk where the females were sitting. They were busy with other donors asking different questions and filling out the forms as I ...

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My mother survived dengue

I remember dengue fever, which is now spreading like an epidemic, was completely unknown in our part of the world a couple of years ago.  For the past two months we kept hearing about the increasing number of dengue cases in the Punjab province but we never really paid heed to the warnings. I didn’t bother about specific preventive measures since I was never a really a Mospel person in any case. I will never ignore such warnings again in my life as my mother suffered from dengue this Ramazan. My mother had a fever that came and went, when we had ...

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After 9/11, I still feel hope

“I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything. But still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything. I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” Edward Everett I don’t know who started this war or how it will end – I only know how it came to be. On September 11th 2001, I watched helplessly as the twin towers collapsed. Even a decade after this unfortunate day, the world is reeling from this tragic and needless loss. I was a seventeen-year- old, aspiring to be a writer, mesmerized by ...

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Rangers shooting: Lust for blood

The video of Sarfaraz Shah’s last traumatic moments imploded on to cyber space with some enthusiasm and a profusion of expletives. Messages like “check kar yeh video” (check out this video), “here’s the full video, yaar,”  “sharing the HD version,” “uncut footage” and “exclusive video” pepper the Facebook newsfeed. Bloodied and battered thumbnails accompany the excited posts. Lust for blood, it seems, is not exclusive to criminals. Slowly, steadily and grimly, Sarfaraz Shah’s life was extinguished on tape. His blood was squeezed out drop by drop, fanning out in a wider and wider crimson circle around his wiry frame, as ...

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“Please help, I need some blood”

Have you ever had to look for blood? It is not a pleasant experience. Every day, in my clinical practice, I see patients and their families looking for blood. From heart surgery to C-Section, when patients are about to undergo a surgical procedure, their friends and family go through the painful exercise of finding blood that might be needed. And, these of course are the people who plan ahead. For some reason, patients are completely unprepared. When a loved one is in a car accident, there has been no time to arrange for blood beforehand. Or, for that matter ...

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I laugh, but so does the world

Imagine this scenario: Around a dozen bodies of children wrapped in sheets of blood cradled by helpless parents, and in some cases just lying in a pool of their parents’ blood. On Saturday, you didn’t have to imagine. US-led Nato forces killed 14 Afghan civilians including up to 12 children. President Hamid Karzai was quick in issuing a “last warning” to the US military telling it to avoid operations that kill civilians while commander of the Nato-led force Isaf in south-west Afghanistan apologised for the deaths and, this was it. I do not want to rant about the cruelty and the blatant ...

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Incompetent healers, uncaring doctors

Ok, I give up. I know I said that doctors care. And they do. At least most of them do. But then there are some who are either too incompetent or too ignorant or just too damn arrogant to admit that they don’t know what the heck is really going on with their patient. I saw a patient yesterday who had seen at least five different doctors in Bahawalpur and Multan in the last two months. After months of looking for answers for his poor health, all he had for a diagnosis was Anaemia (low Haemoglobin.) Someone performed an ...

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Drone attacks: Unlawful killings, double standards

A recent report indicated that the US was considering expanding drone operations in Pakistan to now encompass areas surrounding Quetta. Pakistan vociferously rejected the expansion and said the US would not be allowed to expand the areas where drones operate. Drone attacks have a history stretching back to 2004, when they started as part of George Bush’s war on terror. An independent tally by New America Foundation, shows that there have been 199 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan with approximately 103 in 2010 alone. The records state that till today between 1,276 and 1,955 individuals were killed, of whom around ...

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