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Warangal: Covid-19 effect sucks blood reserves

Covid-19 effect sucks blood reserves
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Covid-19 effect sucks blood reserves

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With stocks drying up in all blood centres (earlier known as banks), life has become miserable for the thalassemia and sickle cell patients in Warangal.

Warangal: With stocks drying up in all blood centres (earlier known as banks), life has become miserable for the thalassemia and sickle cell patients in Warangal. The Indian Red Cross Society, Warangal (IRCS-W) Chapter, which was a picture of contrast compared to others in Telangana with abundant blood reserves last year, has also gone insolvent this year due to the impact of Covid-19 second wave.

The IRCS-W plays a huge role in addressing the needs of thalassemia patients who need a blood transfusion every 15 to 21 days, besides supplying blood to State-run hospitals such as Mahatma Gandhi Hospital (MGMH) etc. There are 312 thalassemia and sickle cell patients registered with the IRCS-W. Of which, around 186 patients were totally dependent on IRCS-W.

With the reserves evaporating in the IRCS-W, it's now the turn of the patients to fetch blood for the transfusion. As on Friday, the inventory in the facility shows just around 20 units. Never before, the reserves were so low. At any given point of time before the Covid-19's invasion, the facility used to have 300 to 400 units (350 ml) of blood.

Speaking to The Hans India, IRCS State Executive Committee and Managing Committee member EV Srinivas Rao said, "With the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc, it has become difficult for NGOs and other organisation to organise blood donation camps. With colleges closed and youth

organisations lull due to spurt in Covid-19 cases, there was none coming forward to donate blood. However, efforts are on to organise more donation camps after the lockdown was lifted."

Like the goodwill gestures such as making donations on birthdays, weddings and anniversaries etc, people need to think in that line and organise blood donation camps, he said, referring to the 2,552 units of blood collected on September 8, 2020 on the occasion of Parkal MLA Challa Dharma Reddy's birthday. We need such magnanimous effort to collect blood from donors, he added.

According to IRCS-W, 43 donation camps were organised and collected 2,700 units in this calendar year. The IRCS-W accumulated more than 11,000 units in 2020 by organising 128 camps. In fact, collecting 11,000 units in every of the last four years was the benchmark for the IRCS-W.

Md Salim, father of one-year-old Saad Affan, a thalassemia patient, said, "I have to approach my relatives and friends asking them to donate blood so as to save the life of my kid."

The IRCS-W body expressed confidence that it would put up a huge effort to organise more donation camps beginning with the World Blood Donor Day (June 14). It may be mentioned here that IRCS-W supplies blood free of cost to its registered patients.

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