Updated: July 11, 2021 8:02:57 am
Mumbai is currently facing an acute shortage of blood, forcing blood banks to reach out to organisations to hold donation camps. Dr Arun Thorat, in-charge of the State Blood Transfusion Council, said 22,000 units are in stock across Maharashtra — half of usual count of 40,000-50,000 units. Mumbai has 3,200 units left, lower than its usual stock of 5,000 units.
“The Covid-19 vaccination drive has hampered blood donation. People who get vaccinated cannot donate blood for up to 14 days. This has become a big impediment in stocking up,” Thorat said. On an average, Maharashtra is immunising 4.29 lakh people a day against Covid-19.
Dr Hitesh Pagare, in charge of JJ hospital, said that apart from vaccination causing a delay in the blood donation window, a rise in routine surgeries has also increased demand for blood.
“Now that the city is opening up in a phase-wise manner, hospitals have started routine operations. The demand for blood has risen but equivalent donations have not,” Pagare said. JJ hospital used to procure 2,500 units per month, which is now down to 1,500 units.
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Thalassemia patients have suffered the biggest hit by the shortage. On Friday, Sion blood bank fell short of B-positive group, forcing thalassemia patients to visit other hospitals.
Dr Shalin Soni from Malad Medical Council said the association had arranged for a camp on July 4 and collected 119 bottles, which were handed over to JJ hospital. “We screened all donors for physical fitness before donation. We gave them N-95 mask and ensured physical distancing. It is not that difficult if people are willing to donate.”
Soni added that they are going through complaints from doctors in various hospitals that routine surgeries are being rescheduled for want of blood.
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