July 10, 2021 11:20:05 am
Mumbai is once again reeling under acute blood shortage forcing blood banks to reach out to organisations to hold camps.
Dr Arun Thorat, incharge of State Blood Transfusion Council, said there are 22,000 units in stock across Maharashtra, half of usual count of 40,000-50,000 units. Mumbai has 3200 units left, lower than usual stock of 5,000 units.
“The Covid-19 vaccination drive has hampered blood donation. People who get vaccinated cannot donate blood for upto 14 days. That 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, incharge of JJ Hospital, said apart from vaccination causing a delay in the donation window, a rise in routine surgeries has also increase blood demand. “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 managed to procure 2,500 units per month, which is now down to 1,500 units.
Thalassemia patients have been the biggest hit by the shortage. On Friday, Sion blood bank fell short of B+ blood group forcing its thalassemia patients to visit other hospitals.
Dr Shalin Soni from Malad Medical Council said the association arranged for a camp on July 4 and collected 119 units. We screened all donors for physical fitness before donation. “We gave them N95 masks and ensured physical distancing. It is not that difficult if people are willing to donate.”
Soni said they are going across complaints from doctors in various hospitals that routine surgeries have to be rescheduled for want of blood. The association donated its units to JJ Hospital.
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