As Pune faces blood crisis,city has enough in store,thanks to voluntary donations

While hospitals in Pune grapple with the growing demand for blood post the blast at German Bakery,blood banks in Mumbai say that they are not only self-sufficient but have witnessed an all time high in blood donors after 26/11 attacks.

Written by Jinal Shah | Mumbai | Published: February 19, 2010 10:27:34 pm

City blood banks did not ask for blood from outside during 26/11 attacks last year

While hospitals in Pune grapple with the growing demand for blood post the blast at German Bakery,blood banks in Mumbai say that they are not only self-sufficient but have witnessed an all time high in blood donors after 26/11 attacks.

“The city’s blood banks were self sufficient and did not ask for blood from outside during 26/11 attacks,” said an official of the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC). In fact within a month after 26/11 attacks,over 2,000 Mumbaikars had donated blood.

Mumbai’s average yearly need is two lakh units and in the past five years,availability has been gradually exceeding the need,thanks to widespread awareness on voluntary blood donations. According to the statistics available with the SBTC,Mumbai is seeing a steady rise in the number of voluntary blood donations. In 2007,2,44,315 blood units were collected of which 1,73,546 (71.03 percent) were voluntary donations alone (the remaining are donations made as replacements). The year 2008 saw almost four per cent rise in donors with 2,51,863 units collected of which 1,85,249 (73.55 percent) were voluntary. In 2009,it further increased by three per cent with 2,65,489 units of which 2,03,731 (76.73 percent) came from voluntary donation.

The number of camps for voluntary donations also increased from 1540 in 2007 to 1869 in 2008 and 2295 in 2009. Most of the camps were organized by individual organizations for various blood banks.

“After the 7/11 train explosions,the SBTC prepared a disaster management plan which worked very well during 26/11 terror attacks. We gave blood units to JJ Hospital and Bombay Hospital where there was a huge influx of patients. Similarly,during 7/11 train blast number of blood banks readily helped us,” recollects Dr Jayshree Sharma,blood bank incharge at the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

“Blood banks,under the banner of a federation,are very closely knit. We are in constant touch with each other and know each other’s needs. Moreover we abide by the rules set by SBTC,” SAID Dr Neelam Nijhara,blood bank incharge at Raheja Hospital and secretary of the federation of blood banks in Mumbai.

The upward trend in blood collection in Mumbai started in 2000. In 2002,after the national blood policy,blood banks were standardized and monitored. “Ever since then there is a steady rise in donations in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Apart from technology there are many schemes like uniform voluntary blood donor card,felicitation of centurion donors,rally for creating awareness about blood donation,birthday blood donor scheme,mega blood donation drive,doctor’s day,all of which helped increase donations,” said Dr Girish Chaudhary,research officer and quality control manager for SBTC.

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