Bloodline is a group of like-minded people dedicated to the cause of blood donations. With the Guardian Angels Community Blood Drive donation event coming up in Shanghai this weekend, we reached out to them to find out more.
How long has Bloodline been around?
Bloodline was founded in 2017 by Dr. Ashish Maskay, a Nepalese doctor who has been working at Shanghai United Family Hospital since 2007 and living in Shanghai since 2003.
Bloodline is a Shanghai-based non-profit advocacy group for blood donations whose mission is to actively organize blood donation drives at the Shanghai community level and try to educate the public about the importance of building a mutual support system based on voluntary blood donations.
Bloodline also responds to urgent appeals for blood needs for locals or expats by connecting Bloodline donors with recipients to help those in need.
Dr. Ashish Maskay, founder of Bloodline
Why did you decide to set up Bloodline?
Dr. Maskay was inspired to establish Bloodline by an incident that occurred several years ago. It started with a French woman who was in Shanghai visiting her boyfriend. The couple was involved in a scooter accident and the woman was sent to Shanghai United Family Hospital. She needed surgery on a bleeding liver.
The woman’s blood type was Rh-negative, a rare blood type worldwide, and extremely rare among Asians. Dr. Maskay sent out a call for blood donations. Over 80 people responded.
The incident made him realize the power that people have, and that we need to do something to tap into that power.
In general, the issue is that many people don’t realize the importance of blood donations until they need a transfusion themselves. We want to change that concept and make people realize that donations are not just for others but perhaps also for yourself.
Why is it so important for people to donate blood?
Donating blood saves lives. Blood cannot be manufactured; it only comes from the generosity of donors.
Focusing on China, more than 99% of the population in China has Rh-positive blood. Rh negative blood types are incredibly rare and only 3-5 in 1,000 Chinese have Rh negative type blood.
Moreover, in China, there is no long-term, established tradition of giving blood
Who is eligible to donate blood?
How often can the donor donate?
Who cannot donate blood?
Donors should wait...
Where does the blood donation take place, and how do you assure safety?
It takes place at Shanghai Blood Center, and also in mobile unit buses scattered across the city.
Donating blood is completely safe. Only sterile and disposable kits are used. Shanghai Blood Center is committed to the safety and comfort of blood donors. It is the only institution in Shanghai licensed to collect and distribute blood and has been operating for more than 50 years now.
Tell us about the Guardian Angels Community Blood Drive...
The Guardian Angels Community blood donation event is held in the form of a communal gathering likened to a carnival.
Donors and participants come dressed as angels, superheroes and in other costumes.
While the adults participate in blood donations, the little ones can engage in merriments, games, songs, dances, face painting and traditional Chinese art forms.
Guardian Angels in action
What is the philosophy behind getting children involved in the events?
To teach them, with deeds and love, how our actions can save the lives of others, and consequently also our own. By sitting on their parents’ laps during the donation drive, children learn that donating blood is natural, common and nothing to be afraid of.
It is something you do not do for compensation or rewards, but rather for a feeling of self-fulfillment and out of the sense that you are giving back to society and saving the lives of those in need.
Can people give blood at any time or only during these special events?
Yes, people can give blood at any time, not only during events organized by Bloodline. Simply show up with your ID card or passport and tell the staff at the blood center you are from Bloodline.
Shanghai Blood Center is open seven days a week, from 8am to 4pm.
Any final message for potential donors?
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. The gift of blood is the gift of life. Bloodline is dedicated to #KeepingDreamsAlive.
And lastly, Bloodline is you, me, us… the whole community. And only together we are Bloodline… so…#GotBlood?
Guardian Angels Community Blood Drive
Sat Nov 25, 10am-3.30pm.
Shanghai Blood Center, 1191 Hongqiao Lu, by Yili Lu 虹桥路1191号.