Monday, 28 January 2008

Blood Donation (for First Timers)

Isn't it good to have a certificate like the one above? I got this certificate 2 months back by donating my blood. It gives a wonderful feeling of satisfaction that you cannot achieve by simply donating your money. It's so simple yet so special.

I know people who donate blood every three months or on their birthdays. It's one of the great services they render to humanity. I always wanted to do it but whenever I tell someone that I'm going to donate blood, they look at me weirdly and ask "Are you serious?" When I nod my head to say yes, they will have a teasing laugh and say, "Actually it should be you, who should get the blood". They might be right because I look so lean but I thought otherwise. I always feel healthy as I'm a sports person and thought why shouldn't I give it a try. Moreover, I need not worry about being eligible to donate blood because they are going to reject me if I'm not eligible. It's as simple as that.

So, when there was an announcement of a blood donation drive in my office through Red Cross, I gave my name immediately. On the day arrived, I went to the venue with few of my colleagues. One of my colleague who is a regular donor said that there were many back out's this time too (may be due to work pressure or whatever). But later we saw that most of the people who were thought to be back out's came late to the venue. It was good to see their commitment.

We were asked to eat a well balanced meal including plenty of fluids 24 hours before blood donation. Well balanced meal is ok but why plenty of fluids? I thought, it's like mixing water with milk like most of the milk sellers do;) Then I found that it's to increase the flow of blood and to replace the amount of fluid that you are donating.

As I went inside the venue, they gave me a form of two pages with so many questions. Many people would hate this and will think of going back. But this is for the safety of the person who receives your blood. Just think of yourself getting blood transfusion from someone else.

After completing the form you will have a counselling, where they will ask some personal questions again for the receiver’s safety. Even after donating the blood, you can call them (they will give you a toll free number) and inform if you feel your blood is not suitable for donation. There is also a penalty if anything that you had declared in the form is later found to be incorrect.

Once you are through with the counselling, they will poke in your finger to get a drop of blood for an initial test. They will draw your blood donation after this test. It hurts a little but just for a few seconds. While we lie down on a very large well-padded lounge chair, the nurse puts a needle in a vein in your arm. Once the needle is in place it doesn’t really hurt and you might not even notice it. Some people even start reading books or hear songs. It takes about ten minutes to pump out a pint. You may need to squeeze a soft rubber ball that they give you once every five seconds. Once it is over, the needle will be removed and they will put a bandage to stop bleeding. That’s it.

The donated blood can be kept refrigerated for 35 days with no preservatives. With the addition of an anti-clotting agent, it can be extended to 42 days. They will take few samples from your donated blood for screening.

Donating blood can temporarily weaken the body. After donating, we should eat foods high in iron. Plasma volumes will return to normal in around 24 hours, while red blood cells are replaced by bone marrow into the circulatory system within about 3-5 weeks, and lost iron replaced over 6-8 weeks

A donor effectively burns about 650 calories by donating one pint of blood. Recent studies are now showing that donating blood regularly can have positive effects on your overall health. So don’t hesitate if you want to donate blood. I’m planning to donate blood as often as I can.

Other things that you may want to know about Blood Donation:

Basic Requirement:

Age: 16 - 60 years (16/17 year-olds can donate with parental/guardian consent)
Weight: At least 45 kg for both males and females
Health: Generally good
Well Being: Feeling well that day. Not having colds, coughs or flu in the last one week. No fever (>37.5°C) in the last 3 weeks
Haemoglobin level: At least 12.5g/dl for males, and 12.0g/dl for females
Intervals between Blood Donation: At least 12 weeks (3 months) between each blood donation


* Eat a well balance meal including plenty of fluids 24 hours before blood donation
* Rest in the donor chair for at least 10 minutes after the donation is completed. The nurse will put a plaster over the needle site. Keep the plaster on the arm for 4 to 6 hours. (No problem with taking a shower as the plaster is waterproof)
* Rest in the donor refreshment lounge for at least another 10 minutes before leaving the Bloodbank. Please take the refreshment served.
* Drink more fluids than usual on that day, at least 8 glasses. This will help replace the liquid component of the blood donated. (Within 72 hours)
* Take the iron pills given, once daily before meals for 2 weeks, or eat iron rich foods.
* Apply direct pressure and raise your arm should there be bleeding from the needle site, and call for help.
* Lie down or sit down with head between knees should you feel dizzy or faint, and call for help.


* Lift or carry heavy weights for 12 hours after donation to prevent bruising and promote healing.
* Involve yourself in strenuous or athletic activities for 24 hours after donation. This is a precaution to help the body adjust to the blood withdrawn.
* Leave should you feel faint or unwell. Please inform the staff immediately.

There are some considerations when you come to donate blood:

-Cold, flu or respiratory infection - wait until symptoms are gone for one full week.
-Cold or canker sores - wait until completely healed.
-Blood pressure medication - most are allowed, blood pressure must be acceptable on the day of donation. Check with CBB nurse.
-Cancer - one year after final treatment.
-Pregnancy - wait six weeks after delivery.
-Surgery - donor deferred until completely healed and released from medical supervision.
-Ear piercing, tattoos or acupuncture - check with CBB nurse.
-Blood transfusion - wait one year from last infusion.
-Malaria exposure - if you travel to a malaria endemic area with or without medication, wait one year.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

India did it again!

Australia v India at Perth, Jan 16-19, 2008

India stopped Australia's winning streak again. It's a great triumph for India. They did it in 2001 at Kolkata but this one is so special since they won Australia in their own country and that too in Perth, which is known for its paciest and bounciest track.

Though 2008 was not a good start for India as they lost the test match against Australia which created a lot of aftermath controversies, this would be a big sigh of relief for them. I actually wanted to write about those controversies but many people have written much about it already. I never really thought that India would win this match but was hoping that at least India would try to draw the match. It's a great win for India against the world champions. Australia has become India's most rival team now pushing Pakistan behind them.

Australia is definitely going to come hard on us in the last test match at Adelaide. I hope our team doesn't get carried away by this victory and should concentrate on the next match. Most importantly, the media should stop creating so much of hype for the Indian team after this victory. This is just one. Australia have won 16 in a row and they are truly world champions, which we all should accept. I do respect the Australian team but after the controversy at Sydney I was really not happy with them especially with Ponting. He still believes that he is 100% sure that he had taken that catch, which is very disappointing. Now it makes me feel that if sledging is banned in Cricket, Australia wouldn't perform well as they play mind cricket most of the times.

I've never seen this much of umpiring blunder's ever in Cricket and as I always see it comes against India. Most of the time it used to come against Tendulkar and now it's against India. Steve Bucknor was once my favourite umpire and now he falls way behind. I sometimes feel what he has against India and especially against Tendulkar. Now he says that he was upset on his removal by ICC and says that he has made just two wrong decisions.

I strongly believe that we should make use of the technology wherever possible to minimize umpiring errors. There were some umpiring errors which came in favour of India too. But we can't be happy about it. Whenever the umpires make mistakes the only reply we get from ICC is that "Umpires are human and to err is human". How long they are going to say the same old story? In every organisation if anything goes wrong there will be a corrective and preventive action. Why not they do the something like that in cricket? Third umpire was introduced just for this reason and if the umpires are not sure of anything be it LBW or Catch, what's wrong in referring to the third umpire? Third umpire is also an umpire. These are just my thoughts.

I just made a note of all the umpiring errors in the last two test matches we played against Australia. These are those:


2nd Test: Australia v India at Sydney, Jan 2-6, 2008

13.1 Ganguly to Ponting, no run, down leg and huge appeals for a strangle, long way away from the pad, Ponting appears to have got the edge but the umpire is unmoved

21.4 Harbhajan Singh to Ponting, 2 byes, missed stumping chance; Harbhajan did him in the flight down leg, Ponting down the track, Dhoni hashing the ball as it cannoned off the gloves

46.4 Sharma to Symonds, no run, there's a massive appeal for caught behind, the Indians are convinced but Bucknor is stony faced, Ishant gets one to seam away from the right hander and the ball has taken a healthy edge through to Dhoni, that was a sizable edge and Ishant can consider himself unlucky. "Symonds looked straight at the umpire - a dead giveaway," reckons Dan in Adelaide. Snicko shows a massive edge off Symonds' bat for that Ishant appeal, he looked behind at Dhoni as soon as the ball passed him as well.

55.3 Kumble to Symonds, no run, Kumble draws Symonds into the shot, coming forward, Dhoni whips the bails off sharply and it's a question for the third umpire - it will be tight either way - and it's not out Great work from Dhoni nonetheless, in by a whisker, make that half a whisker. (His feet had not touched the ground here).

71.2 Kumble to Lee, no run, loud appeal for lbw but Lee had got a long stride forward and was hit in line of off stump, it was the stride that went in the batsman's favour

73.3 Kumble to Symonds, no run, huge appeal for leg before, Symonds moved across his stumps, tried to sweep and missed, that hit him in front of middle and it was low on the pad as well, very close call, Symonds had got a long stride in and the ball may have slipped down leg for lbw turned down, that looked pretty straight but umpire Mark Benson thinks otherwise!!!

(The blunders continued into the second day when Symonds again benefitted when Bucknor refused to use the third umpire off a closing stumping appeal. Close look at the television replays showed that Symonds, who was on 148 then, was once again short of his crease.)

50.6 Johnson to Dravid, no run, slightly pitched up, outside off, drawing the batsman forward, Dravid looks to drive, gets a thick outside edge, low flying catch to Ponting at second slip but the ball bounces just as he was picking it up, Dravid starts to walk back but Ponting denies the catch, great sportmanship by him!

(India's batsmen also suffered when Wasim Jaffer was bowled by Brett Lee off a fast delivery, but replays showed that the pacer might have overstepped the bowling crease.)

40.2 Lee to Ganguly, OUT, huge appeals as Clarke is adamant he caught the ball low in front of him at second slip SC Ganguly c Clarke b Lee 51 (90m 56b 9x4 0x6) SR: 91.07 Ganguly stands his ground, disgusted, and finally walks off. Replays suggest there is some doubt about whether it carried or not. Replays aren't conclusive I'm afraid.

3rd Test: Australia v India at Perth, Jan 16-19, 2008
57.4 Lee to Tendulkar, OUT, this time Lee gets his man, he pitches short of a length and gets Tendulkar back in the crease, playing down the wrong line, the ball hit him on the top of the pad and at the time of contact Tendulkar was jumping in the air, Lee appeals confidently and umpire Rauf eventually raises the finger ... replays show it was indeed high and going over the top of the stumps ... Tendulkar shakes his head as he walks off SR Tendulkar lbw b Lee 71 (175m 128b 9x4 0x6) SR: 55.46

3.3 Pathan to Rogers, OUT, angles towards leg, good length, Rogers moves across his stumps, bends over the ball to play on the front foot, looking to turn it to midwicket, and is rapped on the front leg CJL Rogers lbw b Pathan 4 (14m 9b 1x4 0x6) SR: 44.44 Can of worms time as this statement will no doubt be, he was pretty unlucky with that call, I reckon it was just veering past the leg stump.

44.6 Singh to Hussey, OUT, and thats given! Last ball of the over, RP gets Hussey playing forward, missing the line, and the ball hits him on the knee roll just about in line with middle stump, Asad Rauf has a think and then decides thats out MEK Hussey lbw b Singh 46 (165m 113b 5x4 0x6) SR: 40.70 Commentator's curse again. Hussey departs for 46. RP gets a big, big wicket. Clarke will be joined by the in-form Symonds. Replays show that ball to Hussey was going over the stumps. Hawk-Eye says not out. Hmmm.

49.4 Kumble to Symonds, OUT, gone! Kumble fires one in flat, and quick, at 102ks, pushing a surprised Symonds back in the crease and he's a sitter in front of middle and leg, Billy Bowden has no doubts and up comes the finger in a flash A Symonds lbw b Kumble 12 (18m 14b 1x4 1x6) SR: 85.71 Well, well, well .... replays show Symonds got an inside-edge onto pad. Another poor call. Symonds has reason to feel aggrieved.
Had a look at the umpiring errors? Do you still think that Australian's deserved the victory at Sydney against India? I really don't but Ponting believes they deserve it and he was upset that their victory was forgotten amidst the controversies. Moreover Ponting and Clarke both are still 100% confident that they have taken those catches. Ponting~ Have you seen the videos/photos of your catches? I'm sure you would have and you still don't accept your mistake? If you had accepted that you were wrong, I would have praised you and you wouldn't have lost one of your fan.