Not enough blood for India

Not enough blood for India

With a whopping 5.5 million units of blood donated every year there is still a deficit of 30 to 35 per cent annually reveals statistics on World Blood Donor Day observed on June 14. The total need of India is 8 to 10 million units every year.


Delhi NCR alone faces a shortage of 100,000 units per year.


94 per cent of blood donations in the county are made by men while women contribute only six per cent, as reported in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global database on blood safety updated in June 2011.


Blood is required for are 234 million major operations in the country, 63 million trauma- induced surgeries, 31 million cancer-related procedures and 10 million pregnancy related complications that require blood transfusions.


While the donations are required – the biggest risk is infected blood.


A total of 2,234 cases involving patients getting infected with HIV while getting blood transfusion were reported across the country within a period of 17 months according to reports by Press Trust of India.


Despite the blood banks carrying out the tests for HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B and C and malaria according to the National Blood Safety Program there is still a risk as the window period cannot be eliminated.


Viruses have a window period of three months before showing the in blood hence the best of technologies are not able to detect the virus.


The best-available technology in the market right now – the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test – only reduces the window period to seven days. It does not entirely eliminate the risk completely explained, Dr Ravi Chandra Blood Bank Medical officer of KIMS Hospitals, Hyderabad.


There is an effort to increase voluntary blood donation rather than taking in regular blood donors.


In the year 2006-07, VBD was only 54.4%, it increased steadily to 83.1% in 2011-12.


Women donors:

There are a mere 6 per cent women donors who do not come forward as they already are suffering from low hemoglobin count.


Indian Medical Association proposes to have first day of every month as blood donation day from July 1st onwards so that there can be sufficient blood to deal with the shortage.

Dr. Anil Handoo, Director, Lab Services, BLK Super Specialty Hospital explained, “It is important for relatives to understand that when they are made to run around in blood banks for blood same is the case with others. Hence we have often been asking healthy relatives to come forward and donate blood. A monthly Blood Donation Day is a positive step and will help to atleast bridge the demand-supply gap”.