Voluntary donation came down from 4,460 units in April to 3,920 units in May

Blood donation across Karnataka has seen a decline in recent months, reveals a survey conducted by a voluntary organisation.

The survey, conducted by Sankalp India Foundation across 60 blood banks, has found that voluntary donation had fallen from 4,460 units in April to 3,920 units in May.

There are 176 blood banks in the State and the monthly requirement for blood is 52,083 units, according to the Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society (KSAPS).

On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, which was observed recently, blood bank officials and doctors across the State said there was a decline in the average number of units of blood received per day.

Brilsee Simeon, blood bank officer at Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital said, “Even if one per cent of the population donates blood, we will be able to meet the requirement.”

While the KSAPS estimates the annual requirement of blood in the State at 6.25 lakh units, Rakesh Dhanya of Sankalp India Foundation said, “In Karnataka, voluntary donation does not exceed 4 lakh units of blood every year.”

Pallavi P., blood bank officer at the JSS hospital in Mysore, said: “There is always a demand for blood and the stock never meet the demand.” According to Subhash Das, blood bank officer at R.L. Jalappa Hospital, Kolar, there is only a limited awareness about the benefits of blood donation. He said people in rural areas had inhibitions to donate blood.

Pointing out that college students formed a major chunk of blood donors in the State, Mr. Dhanya said: “Voluntary blood donation is always less during this time of the year as students are busy with exams or have holidays.”

Sumitra P., blood bank medical officer, Rashtrothan Blood Bank, Bangalore, said, “The number of blood donation camps and the donors per camp has come down.”

Nature of donations

Normally, blood donation is either voluntary donation or replacement donation. Replacement donation is received when friends or family members of the patient in need of blood donate a particular blood group in exchange for the blood group that the patient requires.

“Replacement blood donation in a certain way is still forced,” adds Mr. Rakesh. Most blood banks have been focussing on encouraging voluntary donation as it is considered the safest by the World Health Organisation and the National Aids Control Organisation.

Meanwhile, Ramesh H.C., joint director for blood safety, KSAPS, said that the scarcity was artificial.

“We may run out of certain blood groups in a particular bank but there is enough stock of blood,” he added.

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