In order to deal with the rising numbers of dengue cases, the Gurgaon health department has decided to give platelets at a subsidised rate of Rs 400 to those patients who cannot afford it. The administration also said these patients can avail platelets without getting a donor along with them. However, officials said this will create a problem as there is a lack of platelets in blood banks in the city.
“Ever since the health department began providing platelets to patients at Rs 400, patients have stopped bringing donors along with them,” said an official.
As the city’s government hospital does not have the infrastructure to store platelets, it has been buying it from private hospitals.
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But private hospitals too are finding it difficult to meet the increasing demand for platelets due to non-availability of donors.
“Blood can be stored for several months, but platelets can be stored for no more than five days,” said the official.
“If patients bring donors, they are charged Rs 8,500 to extract platelets. However, if they get platelets for Rs 400 without having to bring along donors, why would people not avail this option,” added the official.
The five private hospitals, that are giving platelets to the government hospital “under pressure from the health department”, have said the number of donors have been reducing.
According to a multi-specialty hospital in Gurgaon, the outpatient department gets 60 patients with dengue-like symptoms.
“The number of dengue cases is definitely rising. But we make sure we give platelets only to those whose levels are below 10,000. We have put up boards across the hospital, asking people with rare blood groups to donate blood as the deficit now is for platelets in the rare blood group category,” said an official.