Madan Lal Roonwal, whose eight-year-old son Pranav has been diagnosed with dengue and a low platelet count, had a harrowing time on Monday getting platelets (the required blood component) for his treatment. After running from one blood bank to another, he managed to get two units from M.S. Ramaiah Blood Bank.
With Bangalore city seeing an unusual rise in the number of dengue, chikungunya and viral fever cases, blood banks are finding it hard to meet the demand for whole blood and components, especially platelets.
While most blood banks in the city are facing a demand of at least 120 units a day, they are able to supply only 60 to 70 units.
As platelets have a maximum shelf life of five days, laboratories process the blood only when there is a specific demand. But in the current situation, the labs are processing blood as and when it is collected to reduce the wait.
M.S. Ramaiah Blood Bank officer Nanda Kishore said the number of blood donations was lower than the demand for blood. “We are supplying 60 to 70 units of random donor platelets and 12 to 15 units of single donor platelets. We also get calls from Davangere, Chitradurga and Hassan,” he said.
Deepak Suman, coordinator of Lions Blood Bank in Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, said, “We receive a request call every 10 minutes and we are working till midnight to complete processing,” he said.
Silpakar Dilliram, laboratory in-charge of Rotary-TTK Blood Bank, said, “We are supplying an average of 100 units every week to hospitals in Bidar, Raichur, Koppal and Gulbarga.”
Although doctors in city hospitals are seeing an average of 30 patients with dengue-like symptoms every day and some deaths have been reported, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials denied they were confirmed dengue cases. Dengue symptoms include intermittent fever and headache, pain in the joints, rashes all over the body and pain behind the eyeballs.