Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that can cause the formation of abnormal hemoglobin molecules and thus anemia. Treatment for severe thalassemia requires regular blood transfusion to prolong life. It can be a nightmare for some families to try to secure blood on a consistent basis.
Karthik Naralasetty witnessed a family’s struggle near his home in Bangalore who traveled from hospitals to blood banks every 25 days to find blood for their four-year-old daughter. This led him to create Socialblood.org, an online platform that connects blood donors and recipients of the same blood type through Facebook.
By using the global social network Facebook, Socialblood.org allows users to register and add themselves to their appropriate blood group. They are able to make and see blood requests. Though the network is still young, it has already helped a three-year-old boy find blood for his heart surgery in less than three hours. Most recently, Naralasetty was named one of four winners of the Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition.
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