Courtesy by: timesofindia
PUNE: As the city’s continues to grapple with the H1N1 flu situation, blood banks in the city have reported acute shortage of blood. If the
situation remains the same for the next two days, there will be complete dry up’ at all the 22 blood banks in the city, as the total amount of blood currently available with all these banks is not more than 200 units.
“There is nearly dry up’ condition at the blood banks in the city right now. If the situation persists for another two days, there will be complete dry up all over,” said Ram Bangad, who runs the trust Raktache Nate,’ which has a donor base of 7,000 people.
Sharing the view, Vandana Vasave, blood transfusion officer at the blood bank of the Sassoon general hospital, said, “We are also facing the pressure of the shortage of blood. As the district collector has banned all types of overcrowding, we could not organise blood donation camps. Currently, we have just 28 units of blood with us. We meet the needs now through our medical students who come and donate blood whenever there is a need.”
As per government orders, public gatherings of any kind has been given a rest for few days with the H1N1 outbreak in city which led to the cancellation of several blood donation camps. Independence day camps by all major blood banks have proved highly successful over the years. However, this year, all blood banks had either cancelled or postponed such camps on August 15, said Dilip Wani, national president, Jankalyan chain of blood banks in India.
“A blood bank on any given day, under usual circumstances, has more than 100 units of blood available. But now, a blood bank has just 20 to 30 units at their disposal,” said Bangad. The blood bank at Sassoon, which used to have 400 units at any point of time, has now just 30 units, he said.
Sanjeev Ketkar, pathologist and blood transfusion officer, Deenanath Mangeshkar hospital blood bank, added, “We have just 27 units of blood available at our blood bank. We should be allowed to hold blood donation camps now. Otherwise, we are going to exhaust all our stock.” He added that voluntary donors have been visiting the hospital on their own, but the amount thus collected is not adequate.
He said the hospital is making sure that they screen even those small number of people who donate blood for the H1N1 virus. “You will not contract the H1N1 flu just because you donate blood,” he said. We call several donors from our database but none of them are willing to come because they fear they will contract the H1N1 virus, he added.
“If the present situation prevails for the next few days, things will go out of hand. There are some operations that can be pushed forward, but caesarean operations, treatment for trauma patients cannot be delayed. Moreover, dengue cases are also rising in the city. These patients also require blood platelets as well,” said Dilip Sarda, president of the city unit of Indian Medical Association.
The annual average blood requirement of the city is 1.5 lakh units approximately. Of this, 40 per cent is contributed by students. Besides this, the rest is contributed by workers from the organised sector (25 per cent), political outfits (10 per cent) and the remaining 25 per cent is taken care of by social, voluntary and religious organisations, said Wani.
This shortfall is causing serious problems for Thalassemia patients and those who are suffering from blood cancer as well, who need constant transfusion, Wani added.