Sunday, February 21, 2010

Live in others!!!

We have heard of "Live and let others live". I would like to modify this a bit as "Live in others and let them live". Yes, when we have a chance to live in others by donating blood when we are alive and other organs like eye, kidney etc after our death, the modified statement makes sense right?

I thought of sharing my experience I had last weekend as it was a very satisfying one for me as I was chosen by The Almighty to help a person in need . To be specific, the person, suffering from blood cancer, was in need of blood platelets.

I know many of you who read this would have donated blood atleast once or would be thinking of doing it in the future. I am not sure how many of you have heard of donating blood platelets, a component in our blood.

Last weekend, I got a call from some group, which assist in arranging blood for the people in need, to check if I am interested to donate platelets. They have traced me through the site where I have registered very recently. I checked with our family doctor if it is safe to donate blood platelets and confirmed them I can donate.

Platelet separation process
This particular platelet donation takes 1 to 2 hrs of time based on the platelet count of the donor. Normally the range is 3 to 4.5 lakh platelets per cubic liter of blood (the person I donated had a count 8000 only). They have an instrument to separate the platelet from our blood. This is how the process goes.

Before the process starts, they check if the donor has good platelet count. Once it is fine, they ask us to get refreshed and come as we will have to lie down for a max of 2 hours without any disturbance. Once we are ready, they inject in our hand and pull blood to a container in that instrument. And when the blood is pulled out of our body, you will feel numb around your lips as the Calcium content gets dropped. The lab technician gives you a tablet to chew so to compensate that.

Once 400 ml of blood is collected, the platelet separation process starts. Don’t get panic on what will happen to the 400 ml of our blood. The blood is collected by the instrument into a container with a solution that keeps the blood safe from clotting. Once the platelet separation process is over, the blood with out the platelet will be injected back into our body.

This process of pulling out and injecting blood into our body happens 4 to 5 times. In this process platelet collected was around 210 ml and the platelet count will be around 2 lakh it seems. And they call the platelet donation "online" because the life span of the collected platelet is 2 days it seems. So ideally, once the platelet is collected from a donor, it should be immediately injected to the patient. Since it is the component alone that is injected, it is good than the whole blood being injected. Also, you can donate blood in the next 2 days :) Cool right!!!!

The patient's people called us the next morning to say that now the count has increased from 8000 to around 90000 and that he was a bit stable. What more one can ask than things like this in your life? My wife & I were very much satisfied.

I would like you all to visit the website "" and have yourself registered as you can not only look for the needy people, you can also look for the people who donate. Also, the details may not be the exact one. Check with your doctor for more details or google to know more.

And get a chance to live in others to make them live!!!!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

School Hunt

Come October and it is happening time for the schools and a nightmare for many parents who are on the look-out for schools for their kids from pre-kg or pre-nursery to any grade.

A short intro on where we are and for what we are hunting for schools. Right now we are in Bangalore and we planned to put our daughter in Pre-kg for the academic year 2010-11. Most of us, our peers, would have studied in some normal / government schools except a few. And as any normal parent we thought of looking out for a good school where our daughter could get some more exposure than we have got during our school days.

And I never thought checking out for a school would be such a big challenge/learning experience. Yes, in deed it was a great experience for us before we zeroed in on a school which, at least we felt would be better than the rest.

Initially, somewhere around August, we started googling for CBSE board schools in the city and prepared a list of schools and took a print out of the same with the address and numbers. Then, we enquired our colleagues about the schools they feel is good. October came and we started our hunt for schools. We went to an area and searched for schools in and around that area with the list we had. We called up the phone numbers and found most of them were outdated. And we got the numbers of few schools through the JustDial service.

This way we went to 3/4 different areas and enquired in schools about the details like - fees, donation, whether they have some extra-curricular activities apart from academics, teacher to student ratio, if the school has playground and things like that. And our daughter got admission in a school in the first week of November.

In this process, we came to know one thing - admission in schools is a very big business. The reason why I say this is, we came to know through some of our colleagues that there are brokers to get a seat for pre-kg (not for BE and MBBS as it was during our days) and the cost for that is few lakhs it seems.

I just wanted to quote an incident happened to us in one of the schools. When we enquired for the direction over phone, we were told that they don’t have Pre-kg and they admit kids from LKG only. But we just wanted to look at the school and asked for the direction again. The response was "Why do you want to come when we do not admit kids for pre-kg?" and they just hung the phone. The school is one of the so called "good" schools. I was totally taken aback by this and I just told to myself, is this the one or similar one my kid is going to study in? But I had no choice and I had to choose the best among the worst
available. And we got admission for our kid in a good school.

Here, by good school, what I mean is that, we felt the school was good. With that assumption, we have given our kid a channel to start her academic / career / life. And we could do nothing more as finally it is the kids who, with the parent’s guidance, in future will show us if we chose him/her really a good school.

So, my take is, do not worry much about which school to seek for. All are good and bad. We can just go by our knowledge about the schools and expect for good things to happen. I am sure, good things will happen to all of us - the parents whose job of hunting for schools have become a terrific task these days!!!!

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