ANDHRA PRADESH

Collection of blood on large scale criticised

G.V.Ramana Rao

Arrangements being made to collect 20,000 units

VIJAYAWADA: The mammoth blood donation camp, being jointly planned by the Indian Red Cross Society (Vijayawada), Krishna district administration and the Tiranga Run Committee, has come under-fire from people who depend on regular blood transfusion to stay alive.

Eight-year-old Sheik Rahem Abdulla, a victim of Aplastic Anemia needs blood transfusion every 15 days. Three-year-old Kiran Tej, a victim of Thalassemia needs blood transfusion every 25 days, and four-year-old Siddiq also suffering with the same disease needs ‘fresh blood’ every 20 days.

The camp will make it difficult for these children to find donors, as all these local volunteers will get exhausted at the mega camp.

The organisers of the blood donation camp say that arrangements are being made to collect 20,000 units at the rate of 4,000 units an hour.

After preserving the blood required in Krishna district in the 11 blood banks here, the rest will be sent to other districts.

But the children suffering from these blood diseases need fresh blood that has been just taken fresh from a volunteer as against blood stored in a blood bank.

Once outside the body the quality of blood begins to deteriorate after 72 hours of being collected, which is the case with even the best blood banks in the world.

“Stored blood is generally used only in an emergency, but then the child will have to undergo blood transfusion earlier because stored blood undergoes changes,” says Sarat Babu Vodgu, the parent of a child who suffers from Thalassemia.

Explaining the practical problems involved, Mr. Sarat Babu says, “Once in 20 days we have to find a volunteer with a matching blood group for the child, but after the camp there will be no volunteers available for the next six months.”

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