One thing we want to share through this blog, is giving insight into what it is like being an MPH student at the JHSPH, while still being interested in a surgical career. One such way that our students do that is by joining a group called SOTAS, which stands for the Surgery, Obstetrics, Trauma, and Anesthesia Society. This is a new club at the school that is gaining traction by allowing students to grow and remain involved in the surgical world.
Each month we have a journal club that is led by one of the SOTAS officers, and is open to all students in the school. We wanted to let you guys in on what exactly we are reading! This last week was a recent piece published in the Lancet Hematology, “The global need and availability of blood products: a modelling study”. We paired this with an opinion piece titled “The Blood Drought in Context”. The biggest takeaway: We are short over 100,000,000 blood products annually, and this disproportionately affects Low- and middle-income countries.
Some of the key points that came up included the impact that modeling is having within the global health community, the ethical dilemma behind unbanked direct blood donations between family members or friends, new innovative alternatives to real blood products (extra reading), and how we as public health professionals can bring more attention to this serious threat to people’s health all throughout the world. Because blood products are not as “sexy” as fighting infectious disease, they are often overlooked, but the remain integral in treating patients afflicted by all kinds of disorders including infectious disease, non-communicable disease, and especially trauma and injury patients.
We hope that you can read the articles and share your questions and thoughts, we would love to hear from you and answer them! Until then, keep spreading the importance of addressing the massive blood product shortage that is affecting millions of people each year.