Visakhapatnam: Blood banks run dry as donations dip
Experts say extended lockdown and increasing number of coronavirus pandemic is only making the situation worse
Visakhapatnam: There is a 50 per cent dip in the availability of blood in blood banks against the current requirement.
Ahead of the World Blood Donor Day observed on June 14, those running the blood banks say that the extended lockdown and increasing number of coronavirus pandemic is only making the situation worse.
Lack of permission to conduct blood donation camp is a major setback that many blood banks are grappling with. "Even if permission is sought to conduct a camp on a rare occasion, not many are turning up to contribute to the cause.
At present, blood banks are dependent on individual donors to tide over the problem," says A Sugandhi, Medical Director of A S Raja Voluntary Blood Bank.
Sugandhi further adds that she has forwarded a letter to the district and state officials to look into the shortage of blood supply and grant permission to conduct camps in order to bridge the gap between the demand and supply.
Patients with blood disorders appear to be the worst hit as there is hardly any adequate blood supply as several blood banks suffer from low reserves.
Doctors lay emphasis on donating blood as it is essential for hospitals to cater to the needs of patients, especially those who are dependent on blood transfusions at regular intervals.
"Volunteers feel reluctant to come forward to donate blood amid the pandemic. The misconceptions should be dispelled.
Donors can donate blood by following precautionary measures such as wearing mask, checking temperature and maintaining physical distance," says R V Ravi Kanna, a consultant of Internal Medicine, KIMS Icon hospital.
Meanwhile, donors say that they are being contacted directly to extend support. "We are getting calls from the patients' relatives for blood donation.
Depending on their requirement, arrangements are being made. We have a dedicated group for the purpose through which donors will be sent to hospitals wherever there is a requirement," explains Jagarapu Srinu, a donor and founder-president of Mahatma-Mother Teresa Charitable Trust.
With monsoon season ahead, doctors and those operating blood banks say that care should also be taken to ensure adequate blood supply in hospitals and blood banks to treat mosquito-borne diseases.