The Faridabad District Administration’s plans to set up a plasma bank at the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Medical College and Hospital in the district – the first in Haryana – has hit a wall as officials from the hospital struggle to motivate recovered patients to come forward for screening and plasma donation.
According to officials, a total of 72 people have donated plasma units in the district so far. However, the demand far exceeds the supply, and the donated plasma units get used up within days, said officials at the hospital, adding that an average of five plasma units get issued on a daily basis.
“The quantity of plasma units is still a problem, but not to the same degree as it was a few weeks ago because many of our own staff and students, who have recovered from coronavirus, have donated plasma units, and are willing to donate again as well. In that sense, we have an optimum supply, but not so much excess as to call it a proper bank yet,” said Dr Nimisha Sharma, nodal officer for the plasma bank. She said that currently, the hospital has “around 15 to 20 units” in reserve.
“The units we have right now cover all blood groups, but there are some problems. For example, the O type blood group is fairly common but still we are getting less plasma for it, and the demand for it is more,” she said.
With no benchmark having been set up in terms of the minimum number of units required for establishment of the bank, officials say the project is technically ready to be formally opened, once plasma collection is a continuous process.
“Formally, the plasma bank has not been inaugurated because we are waiting to do it at a slightly bigger level so that there is more awareness among people about it… The bank will provide plasma to anyone who needs it, regardless of whether they are located in Faridabad or any other district,” said Deputy Commissioner Yashpal Yadav.
In the hope of rectifying encouraging more people to come forward, ESIC hospital, in coordination with the Red Cross Society, has started setting up donor screening camps in the district. The first of these was organised at the Mini Secretariat on Friday, with officials saying plans are being made to organise a similar camp to screen police personnel who have recovered as well.
“Voluntary organisations are supporting us in procuring more units and taking the initiative, with the district administration also taking an interest. We have started organising camps with Red Cross, where we are screening donors, and, whoever is found fit, we will call them for donations,” said Dr Sharma.
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