The Directorate of Health Services (DHS) is in the process of establishing nine new blood storage centres across the city.
Under the ambitious blood-on-call service launched on January 7 this year, currently 34 government-run blood banks are attached across 35 districts to provide blood to patients who dial 104 toll-free number. In Mumbai, JJ hospital blood bank is the only blood bank linked with this service.
Under the blood-on-call service, blood bags are transported on motorbikes fitted with ice boxes. According to an official from the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC), a rider has to travel long distances from JJ Hospital in Byculla if there is a demand for blood from the suburbs.
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The new storage units — planned in Dahanu, Vasai, Kandivali Shatabdi (Centenary) hospital, Mulund ESIC hospital, Bhabha (Kurla) hospital, SDH Malwani, V N Desai hospital (Santacruz), Railway hospital (Byculla) and Bombay Port Trust hospital (Wadala)— have been chosen to provide easy access to both western and eastern suburbs.
“These storage centres will be well stocked with blood units. Whenever someone calls 104, the district blood bank will coordinate with the closest storage center and a rider will immediately be dispatched with the required blood units,” Dr Sanjay Jadhav, director, SBTC, said.
The SBTC will also recruit more riders for new centres, added Jadhav. According to the state government, there are 134 blood storage units and 291 blood banks in the state. As many as 78 blood banks belong to the state government and municipalities. The Red Cross Society has 12 blood banks, while 183 belong to various trusts and NGOs whereas 18 are privately held.
Along with establishing new storage centres Mumbai, the SBTC is planning similar centres in other urban areas. Jadhav said nine storage centres would start functioning in two months.