Platelets just a call away for Dengue patients in city

Platelets just a call away for Dengue patients in city
Highlights

There is a spurt in Dengue cases in India. According to the data from Health Management Information System 2018, from less than 60,000 cases in 2009, dengue cases in India increased to 2, 89,575 in 2018, almost a 500% spike.

Hyderabad: There is a spurt in Dengue cases in India. According to the data from Health Management Information System 2018, from less than 60,000 cases in 2009, dengue cases in India increased to 2, 89,575 in 2018, almost a 500% spike.

Dengue patients face a drop in the count of blood platelets, leading to internal bleeding and eventually death in extreme cases. Thus, this drop in the platelet count requires quick platelet transfusion to save lives.

However, platelets are not readily available, as they cannot be stored for more than 5 days. India's first platelet donor helpline '7878782020' is committed in assisting citizens in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai and in availing platelets through a ready pool of platelets donors, said the management of Godrej HIT in a statement on the National Dengue Day on Thursday.

In 2017, Godrej HIT established an online community of platelets donors with the intent to build a base of donors, big enough to save lives. This online donor community with a dedicated 24X7 helpline has now grown to 1.25-lakh registered donors. The helpline has successfully saved lives of 5 critical dengue patients till now.

Dengue patients or their relatives seeking platelets can call on the HIT Platelet helpline. On receiving requests, 1.25-lakh registered donors are updated through calls and SMS. The platelet donors either visit the patients directly at any hospital where they are admitted or send the platelets to the patient.

They can also avail platelets transfusion at their nearest Apollo Hospital, the medical partner for the helpline, even if the patients are not admitted there. People can also register themselves as platelets donor through its website.

Commenting on the India's First Platelet Donor Helpline, CEO at India & SAARC of Godrej Consumer Products Limited Sunil Kataria said, "Platelet donor helpline is India's unique platform bringing donors and dengue patients together to help each other crowd source platelets.

It helps patients get platelets, which cannot be stored. We are happy to see that over the last one year more than 1 lakh people have registered to be platelet donors, resulting in saving 5 lives, so far. Though this is a good start, we consider it as our responsibility to create mass awareness around how platelets are crucial during dengue and encourage more platelet donations."

Speaking on the initiative, the Joint Managing Director at Apollo Hospitals Group, Sangita Reddy said, "Vector borne diseases like dengue are emerging as a threat to public health in India. To address the issue, we at Apollo Hospitals have tied-up with Godrej HIT to build a platelet donor community. Through this initiative, we are trying to bridge the disparity in awareness and provide ready resources to manage diseases like dengue."

A survey conducted by Godrej HIT found 94% citizens are unaware about the critical level of platelets count below which platelet transfusion is required in dengue cases. Unlike blood, platelets can't be stored for more than 5 days. The report also informed that 80% of the citizens are unaware of this fact.

Due to a short-shelf life of platelets, there is also a high demand for platelet donors. Platelets are extracted from a donor through a process called Apheresis, which allows extraction of large amounts of platelets from a single donor. The procedure is safe and one can return to normal activities soon. In fact, the body replaces the platelet count back to normal within 24 hours.

As part of the platelet donor community, Godrej HIT wanted to educate masses on platelet donation and threats posed by loss of platelets in dengue cases. Over the last one year, the awareness program reached out to over 5 million citizens across India.

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