Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Blood shortage ends; rare groups still not available

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C Pradeep Kumar

The hardships faced by the patients and their attendants in getting blood in emergencies seem to have ended. There had been an acute shortage of blood during the past two years due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns and the scare among the people to donate blood. Blood donation was affected badly and the stocks of blood in all blood banks across the country dried up.

Children suffering from Thalassemia, pregnant women, patients undergoing regular dialysis and victims of accidents were the worst affected and had to run from pillar to post for blood.

In that precarious situation, Red Cross Blood Centers went to the residences of blood donors and collected blood for supplying to children suffering from Thalassemia , who require blood transfusion once in every three weeks.

With the efforts of the media in highlighting the shortage of blood, many blood donors have started coming to blood banks to donate and save the valuable lives of patients. In the past year, the number of blood donation camps has also increased considerably across the country.

As of today, a stock of 2,380 blood units is available with Red Cross blood centers across various branches in the State and at any point in time, almost all Red Cross Blood Centers have minimum stocks, mostly with all groups. So far this year, 59,560 units were collected by the Red Cross. As a token of their responsibility towards society, most of the banks and educational institutions are coming forward to conduct camps with their employees and NCC or NSS students for donating blood. On Friday, the NSS wing of Siddhartha Mahila Kalashala, Vijayawada, donated 203 units of blood.

BVS Kumar, the State coordinator of Red Cross Blood Banks in Andhra Pradesh, has said that in spite of an increase in blood donors and blood donation camps, there is still a shortage of rare blood groups, especially negative groups. Though the availability of blood at blood banks has improved, patients or their attendants are still facing problems in arranging live donors at the time of surgeries. He appealed to the youth and donors with negative blood groups to get registered with their nearest Red Cross blood centers for ‘voluntary donation at call ‘ as some surgeries like heart, lungs and for treating patients with dengue fevers they need warm blood and the stored blood is not preferred, he added.

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