Summer vacation on, Mumbai blood banks hit by shortage

SBTC holds meeting to discuss crisis; experts emphasise on more donation camps

With the ongoing summer vacation, the city’s blood banks are reeling under a severe shortage. From an average stock of 10,000 to 15,000 blood units, the banks have been able to maintain an average of only about 5,000 units since last week of April. On Wednesday for example, 43 of the city’s 60 blood banks had a stock of merely 4,962 blood units.

The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) held a meeting of the Voluntary Blood Donors committee, which consists of non-profit organisations, religious trusts, and corporates, on Wednesday to discuss the issue. “We have drawn strategies to get more people to donate during this period. The committee members on their end will also take up various awareness initiatives,” SBTC head Dr. Arun Thorat said.

Blood donation takes a hit during the summer and Diwali vacations as colleges, where many blood donation camps are organised, remain shut. This is also the time when many people travel. According to Dr. Thorat, the crisis typically starts towards the end of April and continues till the first week of June. “On a daily basis, the city requires 800 to 1,000 units of blood. During the period of shortage, the problem occurs when a patient requires a rare blood group,” he said.

According to Vinay Shetty from the Mumbai-based Think Foundation, which organises blood donation camps, there has to be a solution to this yearly problem. “The last one and a half month has been bad. We are making efforts and the situation will improve,” Mr. Shetty said, adding the need of the hour is more blood donation camps.

“Corporates want to organise camps on World Blood Donor Day in June. But what we need to understand is the requirement of blood is daily and throughout the year,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 1:33:57 AM |

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