"We need to take care of our blood donors in the same way they are taking care of complete strangers"Saurabh Zalpuri blogs from the ISBT Congress on blood transfusion News
Saurabh Zalpuri, postdoc at the Donor Studies department of Sanquin, blogs from the ISBT in Toronto, the largest conference on Blood Transfusion in the world. His field of interest is donor health.
"Even after years of attending international meetings and congresses, giving talks and presenting our work- the excitement you feel is irreplaceable once you are in the middle of another congress. And the biggest in the business at that.
Tuesday and Wednesday brought about more opportunities to learn, and importantly, present our good work from Donor Studies. My talk was about the measures we could look to implement to monitor donor health. It took place in a well-attended late afternoon session. As somebody who enjoys talking in public, I could not wait to present our latest results and our upcoming research plans for the next year. The response was good, audience questions were challenging. The ideas generated to improve and add to our work were excellent.
Two of our senior colleagues, Eva-Maria Merz and Lisanne Huis In ‘t Veld presented their excellent research the day after. The response to their innovative and potentially ground-breaking research was tremendous.
The combined responses to our talks highlighted the excellent research we are doing to ensure better well-being and health for our donors; and the high regard that Sanquin Research is held in across the world.
Networking, making and maintaining connections with thought leaders is an essential part of collaborative scientific research and I had a couple of highlights. Talking to Michael Busch, the winner of the prestigious ISBT Presidential Award 2018 was a high-point. As was networking with the FDA Advisor for International Blood Services. This goes to show that if the research, and its communication is top-quality, people in the field will recognise it and would like to join forces.
Wrapping it up, I took some time out to go almost half a kilometre up to the famous CN Tower and as I looked down upon the ISBT Convention Centre and the red ISBT flag, I could not help but look to the future. We need to go further up, and beyond, to ensure we take care of our blood donors in the same way they are taking care of complete strangers (patients) - motivated and selfless".