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Advanced cancer treatment in city hospitals gives rise to platelet demand

Most donors being students,blood banks conducting camps to ensure no shortfall when schools and colleges are shut in summer.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Published: April 4, 2013 1:04 am

Voluntary blood donation has been improving in the city,and at the same time,there has been a marked increase in demand for blood,particularly platelets.

The majority of donors being students,most blood banks have been conducting blood donation camps to ensure there is no shortfall,particularly of platelets,when schools and colleges shut in summer.

The demand for platelets has been rising with more and more hospitals in the city starting to offer advanced treatment for cancer patients.

Platelets,which help in clotting of blood,are a vital element of cancer treatment and organ transplants,as well as other surgical procedures as they help prevent blood loss.

During platelet donation,an apheresis machine collects platelets and some plasma and returns red blood cells and most of the plasma back to the donor. It is a one-and-a-half-hour procedure,says Dr Sanjeev Ketkar,blood transfusion officer at Deenanath hospital.

According to haematologist Dr Sameer Melinkeri,nearly 65 bone marrow transplant operations have been conducted at Deenanath hospital and there definitely a requirement of more platelets.

Ketkar says young people are the main blood donors. During summer vacation,few camps are held and anticipating a shortage,blood banks have already conducted 8-10 camps. “So far,our stock is sufficient with an approximate 1,200 units of blood collected in a month,” Ketkar said.

He said they would tap the IT sector in the next two months.

Sassoon general hospital has registered an increasing trend of voluntary blood donation in the last few years,with 7,617 blood units collected in 2009,which went up to 9,611 in 2010. The figure shot up to 10,265 units in 2011. Sassoon has already collected 3,000 units from January to March this year.

Dr Meenal Shingade,who is in charge of the Sassoon blood bank,said another 20 camps have been planned in association with IT companies,reserve police force and others.

There are 22 blood banks in the city and the trend at Sassoon is indicative of the rise at other places as well,Dr Dileep Wani,executive member of the State Blood Transfusion Council,said.

Dr S Mujumdar,who heads the Ruby Hall blood bank says there is an increase in platelet demand.

Dr Vijay Ramanan,haematologist at Ruby Hall Clinic,says aggressive treatment including chemotherapy,is required to treat cancers.

This destroys RBCs and WBC count also goes down. Platelets are needed to prevent further loss of blood.

New blood bank at Aundh targets I lakh units every year

A ‘metro blood bank’ will come up by next month at the Aundh district hospital. Dr V More,district civil surgeon,said they have set a target of collecting one lakh blood units every year. The entire project that has cost Rs 1-2 crore includes setting up state-of-the-art machines at the state-run hospital.

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