Three has been a sharp rise in the demand for platelets to treat dengue and most blood banks in the city are exhausting the stock collected by organising blood donation camps on the same day.
“The demand for platelets is huge,” said Dr Snehal Mujumdar, incharge of the blood bank at Ruby Hall Clinic.
His view was echoed at practically all the other blood banks in the city, with the medical fraternity also urging the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to clean up the city and ensure better sanitation.
The dengue-causing mosquito aedes aegypti breeds in fresh water and can be found in water pools, flower pots, water dripping from air conditioners, water collected in open containers among others. With over 2,300 suspected dengue cases this year – more than 1,000 registered between July and September itself – hospitals are packed to capacity while blood banks are organising daily blood donation camps to ensure that dengue patients get platelets.
While a majority of dengue patients can be treated at home by administering them substantial fluids and other medicines, the severely ill are admitted to hospitals after a drastic fall in the platelet count. At Sahyadri Hospital, Dr Poornima Rao, incharge of the blood bank, said they were making as many as 100-150 random donor platelets (RDP), which get consumed immediately. According to Mujumdar, as many as 3-4 single donor platelets (SDP) were being processed daily – one SDP is equivalent to 8 RDPs.
Until recently, the only way to collect enough platelets for a single transfusion was to take blood donations from five to 10 donors, separate platelets from other blood cells, and combine them to obtain a large quantity for transfusion. Now, a sophisticated machine – blood cell separators – can collect enough platelets for transfusion from a single donor. The new process, apheresis, takes more time than the entire blood donation process but the percentage of platelets collected is more, said blood bank officials.
Dr Atul Kulkarni, incharge of Jan Kalyan blood bank, said that in the past week, every day at least 5 -6 SDPs were being processed apart from 50 RDPs. Presently, we have stock but the increasing demand means more voluntary blood donation camps, he said. At Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, blood bank officials said that as many as 350 RDPs and 25 SDPs were issued to treat dengue and cancer cases.
Dr S T Pardeshi, acting chief medical officer, Pune Municipal Corporation, admitted there has been a rise in dengue cases and breeding sites are being identified in the parking zone and terraces of societies, where water tends to collect and stagnate.
“We have urged people to ensure there is no collection of water and now have no choice but to levy fines. More than 1400 notices have been issued and fines worth Rs 30,000 have been imposed,” he said.