Blood Bank crisis

COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent prolonged lockdown has not only caused huge stress on the affected humans but it has also resulted in life threatening consequences on many patients of other critical diseases. Worst affected are our blood banks which in the absence of new donors are fast depleting and it is just a matter of time before the situation becomes critically out of control. Though hospitals have stopped all elective surgeries, there is routine requirement for blood for thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, oncology patients and cardiac surgeries. Regular blood transfusion is the need of patients of thalassemia as they have to get regular transfusion every fifteen days, practically they are at the mercy of the donors and it becomes life threatening for them as their immunity is at risk. In addition to these child deliveries, accidental cases also require regular blood supplies. Majority of this blood supply is maintained through voluntary organizations like Red Cross, Rotary Club, Young Blood Organization as well as camps organized by Army or schools, colleges and other organizations, but in view of lockdown all these activities have come to standstill as strict social distancing norms have virtually meant no blood donation camps. Moreover, donors are hesitant to come to hospitals now due to COVID-19 scare and further movement of donors is severely restricted in the absence of passes. Right now situation in all the major hospitals of Jammu and Kashmir is give and take of same blood group as against normal procedure of accepting any blood group.
But as they say extra ordinary situations result in out of box solutions, so has been done by DC of Vadodara who arranged twelve exclusive vans to carry donors to blood bank and within an hour of its launch, the facility saw thirty nine donors donating blood and an additional ninety three people on next day. They are now contemplating online registration for future donors. Even MoHFW has issued fresh clear cut guidelines ending March to facilitate blood donation camps. One expects local administration looks into all these aspects well in time to ensure hassle free continuous blood donations for these depleting blood banks. There is absolutely no scope of official complacency in this matter as human lives are too precious and every effort should be made to minimize human sufferings in this pandemic calamity.

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