District Collector Peeyush Kumar on Friday inaugurated a platelet separation machine at the Rotary Red Cross Blood Bank in Gandhinagar.

The new facility paves the way for single donor platelet (SDP) transfusion, thus bringing down the risk of disease transmission, alloimmunisation and superior function and storage characteristics.

‘The city is in the grip of diseases like viral fever, malaria and dengue fever. Availability of the new facility at this crucial juncture can be of great help to treat the ailments,' Mr. Peeyush Kumar told a press conference that followed the inaugural.

The Collector said the platelet separation facility was now available at three places in the city – the Lion's District Blood Bank, Vijaya Blood Bank and the Rotary Red Cross Blood Bank. The fourth machine, available at Pinnamaneni Siddhartha Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Hospital at Chinaoutapalli, was likely to be operational very soon following grant of permission for it.

An Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) machine, used as a diagnostic tool for accurate detection of ailments like dengue fever, would be operational at the Government General Hosptial from Monday, he said.

Earlier, explaining to the Collector the operation of the new facility, national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) G. Samaram said that the separation of individual blood components was done with a specialised centrifuge. The earliest manual forms of ‘plateletpheresis' (process of collecting platelets) were done by the separation of platelets from multiple bags of whole blood collected from donors or blood sellers. Since each blood bag contained a relatively small number of platelets, it could take five to 10 bags, depending on the size of the blood bags and each donor's platelet count, to accumulate a single unit of platelets sufficient for one patient. This greatly increased the risks of the transfusion.

Major advantage

He said the major advantage to single donor platelets was that the selection of certain donor characteristics, such as HLA compatibility, was facilitated since a total dose of platelets was coming from one donor. Single-donor platelets also reduced the risk of septic platelet transfusion reactions, Dr. Samaram added.

Krishna District Medical and Health Officer U. Prasad Rao, Additional DM&HO T.V.S.N. Sastry, Superintendent of the Government General Hospital S.B. Lal and district secretary of the Red Cross Blood Bank Sridhar Reddy were present.

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