THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hospital patients requiring transfusion are hit hard by the triple lockdown that started on Monday morning. Blood banks witnessed a sharp drop in the number of donors and hospitals will be forced to postpone non-urgent surgeries if the situation continues.The blood banks in the city want more voluntary donors from safe locations. They also demand the police to ensure hassle-free travel of the donors.
Thirty-year-old Nayana hailing from Kunnamkulam in Thrissur was among the bystanders who faced difficulty in getting a donor. Her father Vijayan is being treated at the Regional Cancer Centre here.Vijayan needs transfusion to raise his blood count so that chemotherapy can be started. The doctor had prescribed four units of blood on Monday and Nayana couldn’t even get a single donor.“Today I managed to get one unit from the blood bank’s stock. I don’t know what to do tomorrow. I’m trying some phone numbers of volunteers. Don’t know whether people would step out of their homes during the triple lockdown,” she said.
The blood bank at RCC received only 20 donors on Monday, half the number than the normal average. Blood banks at the Government Medical College Hospital and the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) are also facing similar crises. Dr Sathyabhama S, associate medical superintendent at SCTIMST, said she feared a big crisis ahead. “Situation was almost back to normal when the countrywide lockdown was lifted. The triple lockdown in the city affects us on two counts. One, the turnout would be low owing to the travel restrictions. Two, we cannot encourage donors from containment zones or hotspots,” she said.
She wants people in safer locations, especially youngsters, in the district to drop in for voluntary donations. Satyabhama said surgeries and emergency care would be affected if the shortage continues. Akhila, in-charge of the blood bank at the Sri Ramakrishna Ashrama Charitable Hospital said they didn’t get even a single donor on Monday.
Shajahan, a volunteer engaged in arranging donors for the patients at RCC, said potential donors are hesitant to travel to blood banks owing to fear of restrictions. Some donors who reached the hospital on Monday had to pass through tough screening by the police, he said.