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Lockdown: Red Cross steps up to help Delhi hospitals deal with blood shortage

The average collection of blood at IRCS in Delhi is between 68-82 units per day, but has gone down to 34 and 48 units on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively.

Published: 16th April 2020 08:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2020 08:15 AM   |  A+A-

blood donation

Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Delhi is staring at potential shortage of blood as lockdown is keeping donors at bay. Regardless of the fact that demand has come down as elective surgeries are being rescheduled and lesser road accidents are being reported due to restrictions on road traffic, blood banks in the national capital are struggling to cope up with the shortage.

While some city residents claimed they had faced tough time to arrange blood units given the lockdown, hospital authorities said that they have ‘sufficient’ stock to meet any eventuality. Given the circumstances, Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) has stepped up measures to ensure availability of blood in Delhi. It has started pick and drop facilities for donors and set up a round the clock control room-helpline for people who are in need.

“Blood demand has reduced as surgeries are being postponed. There is almost no transport so number of accidents have also seen a decline, fortunately. But we have to take care of demand of patients who can’t defer treatment of diseases like thalassemia. The collection is not up to the level but we are collecting good number of units,” said RK Jain, (retired IAS), who is the secretary general of Red Cross society.
According to Jain, average collection of blood at IRCS in Delhi is between 68-82 units per day.
However, the society managed to collect 34 and 48 units on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively. On Monday, it had got 76 units.      

Jain said that donors are being requested to come forward and IRSC makes adequate arrangement for them.“We provide pick and drop facilities to donor and also send mobile vans to donor’s place,” said he. Shubham (who goes by just one name) of Loins Blood Bank at Shalimar Bagh confirmed shortage. He said donors are not coming because of coronavirus outbreak. He said the bank would provide 60-70 units of blood to thalassemia patients, registered with it, every day.

“We have started denying requests. Only 30-40 unit are being given at present. As no blood donation camp is being organized, we are calling people to volunteer donation,” he said.However, blood banks at various hospitals — AIIMS, Hindu Rao and Sir Ganga Ram hospital asserted they have enough stock of blood units. “We haven’t faced any issue yet. We are issuing blood units are per the requirement of the patients and ask for blood donation in return,” said an official at Hindu Rao hospital’s blood bank.



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