'We lack reliable data on blood transfusion'

Though there are enough blood banks across the country, shockingly most of these do not have any facility to find out whether the blood supplied is infected or not.

Published: 11th November 2013 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th November 2013 11:20 AM   |  A+A-

Though there are enough blood banks across the country, shockingly most of these do not have any facility to find out whether the blood supplied is infected or not. As a result, incidences of patients falling prey to grave diseases due to infected blood transfusion are increasing in the country.

In order to formulate a Haemovigilance Act which will mandate every hospital in the country to scrutinise blood transfusion, a programme has been launched to ensure the medical staff report every detail about blood transfusion.

“In the present scenario, the aspect of reporting while undertaking any sort of treatment is missing. We do not have any reliable data and the haemovigilance programme was launched primarily for it,” said Dr Sukwinder Singh, Director in charge, National Institute of Biologicals, which has collaborated with the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission to formulate the Haemovigilance Act.

He was in Kochi on Saturday to attend the Haemovigilance programme organised by the Kerala State Drugs Department and Amrita Instituite of Sciences.

He said with the materialisation of this programme, the country will have a strong data collection which they can share to each other which will be of immense help in preventing any untoward incident while blood transfusion “It will not only inculcate a culture of reporting by the medical fraternity, but the country will also have sufficient data which can help in devising evidence-based health policy decisions,” he said.

He said this data collection will also help in preventing blood wastage.

“For instance, a particular blood group can be used in three different persons. You can segregate the components and give it to patients who are in need of any particular component. This can only be done if you have proper data collection,” he said. Dr Singh pointed out that even the staff working in the blood banks are not aware of such a scenario.

“Firstly, they will be put under training and later the clinicians will be brought into the ambit,” he said.

The centralised and structured Haemovigilance Programme was launched in the country in 2012 in 90 medical colleges and now the attempt is to extend it to other parts of the country.

He said that the Government of India will set aside `29.36 crore for the programme in the next Budget.

“Discussions are on and are in the final stage. It will definitely get an approval soon. `4 lakh will be allotted for a centre to set up the facilities. Though the programme is for government hospitals, private hospitals will slowly be brought into the ambit of this network,” he said.

He added that this network will be part of the international network of data sharing by mid-2014.


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