PUNE: City blood banks are staring at a shortage of blood due to coronavirus scare. As the State government has restricted public gatherings, blood donation camps have also been postponed or cancelled.
Organisers of blood donation camps stated that no camps will be held due to coronavirus scare. Since people are afraid of visiting clinics and hospitals, it is likely to affect blood banks in the longer run.
“None of the blood banks in Pune have sufficient stock. There are no single donate platelets (SDP) at many hospitals. Patients of dialysis, cancer and thalassemia require it regularly. Demand will rise for platelets in the next four days because the life of storage is five days, while blood bags can be stored for around 35 days. But eventually, everything will get exhausted and there will be a need for more blood in hospitals,” said President of Raktache Nate Trust Ram Bangad.
“If the situation doesn’t come to normalcy, no camps will be held anytime soon. This will strain the blood banks. Colleges are major locations where blood donation camps are largely organised. Youths too, participate in large numbers for these camps but the colleges are also shut,” he added.
Bangad also said that every summer there is a paucity in blood donation. Participation in blood donation camps reduces because the college sessions are either over or examinations are conducted. Also during summers, many feel weak because of the heat, which ultimately affects the number of donors at the camp.
SURGERIES ON HOLD
Hospitals have postponed their planned surgeries temporarily. Speaking to Sakal Times, Dean of BJ General Medical College Ajay Chandanwale said, “Currently we have sufficient blood banks stocked up for 15-20 days. We have a thousand blood bags and require at least 50-60 blood bags daily.”
“However, surgeries are less and as it is there is no crowd. Planned surgeries like cataract surgery that can be kept on hold for 15 days or so, have been postponed. So, for now, the stock that we have is enough. For the future, we are trying to arrange more camps.”
NO BLOOD TRANSMISSION
The dean also added that the coronavirus doesn’t get transmitted through blood and any healthy person can donate blood. People need not fear that it can enter through syringe or blood transfusion. City-based hospitals are also arranging for blood by calling up volunteer blood donors.
Director of Ruby Hospital’s Blood Transfusion Services Dr Snehal Mujumdar stated that at present it is depending on their staff members and volunteer blood donors to fulfil blood requirements.
“As of now, our staff members are voluntarily donating blood. We have also contacted our other volunteer donors who have come forward to donate blood. But if even in April there is a ban on gatherings, then camps won’t be held. It is then that we will face an acute shortage of blood. “How long can the planned surgeries be kept on wait? Also, in some days we will exhaust our volunteer donors as well, so the need for new donors will come up soon,” said Mujumdar.
APPEAL TO CONDUCT BLOOD DONATION CAMP
- The State Blood Transfusion Council has appealed to all social and religious organisations to conduct blood donation camps for blood collection. It has also appealed to people to donate blood for the needy without fearing COVID-19. The letter stated that in Maharashtra, daily around 4,500-5,000 patients of thalassemia, haemophilia, accident victims require blood.
- The council has also instructed camp organisers to maintain cleanliness and hygiene as well as note the travel history or any coronavirus symptoms of the blood donor during the donation.