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Blood donation in full swing

The public has been showing an overwhelming response to blood donation drives in the district.

Published: 06th May 2021 06:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2021 06:52 AM   |  A+A-

illus: Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The public has been showing an overwhelming response to blood donation drives in the district. Most of the blood banks in the city are getting walk-ins throughout the day.“We are even being forced to send a few people back or refer them to other blood banks. We had started a two-week blood donation camp to ensure supply once the vaccination for those above 18 begins. Our requirements are being met fully,” said Dr Amita Radhakrishnan Nair, assistant professor, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. 

At present, the daily requirement at SCTIMST is 25-30 units of blood.As Covid-19 positive cases are surging in the state, many blood camps had to be cancelled. As mass blood donation camps can’t be arranged, all major hospitals are organising in-house sessions to encourage blood donation.

Even at the Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, where the demand for blood is usually the highest, the scenario is similar. More voluntary donors are turning up at the hospital with as many as 50 out of the 100 daily donations being done voluntarily. “Many individuals and organisations are approaching us to donate blood. This week was highly crucial with Covid cases.

This could have dissuaded the public from turning up to donate blood. But we have had many volunteers coming in and on some days, the needs were mostly met by them as regular donations were unavailable. We wouldn’t have any issues if it were to continue like this,” said Mayadevi S, professor and head of Transfusion Medicine, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram. The hospital only holds in-house camps now, owing to the new Covid restrictions. “Most people are coming to donate blood before they take the Covid-19 vaccination,” she added.

However, there are still some confusions among people regarding blood donation and vaccination. “Blood can be donated 28 days after the first or the second dose. Moreover, people with recent travel history who have tested negative for Covid-19 are also turning up here to donate. We cannot accept a volunteer if he or she has not completed 14 days of observation after travelling. Since most of the blood banks are getting enough donors, it is advisable to call and enquire about requirements before going there,” said Dr Amita.

Dr Meena D, state nodal officer for blood transfusion services, said no crisis has been recorded at any blood banks across Kerala. With elective surgeries being postponed and most hospitals focusing on Covid-19 admissions, the demand for blood hasn’t shot up as much as expected. “Except in case of emergency surgeries and trauma cases, there is no dire need of blood and we are able to meet our requirements,” she added.

However, she added, a setback can be anticipated if a strict lockdown is imposed. “Last year, during the triple lockdown, it was difficult to retrieve enough blood as transportation wasn’t available and most of the donors couldn’t arrive for blood donation,” said Meena.

Myth-Busters
Myth: Covid-19 testing is required before blood donation
If there is no history of the individual having Covid-19 or close contact with any infected persons in the past 28 days, they are eligible for blood donation.
Myth: There is no blood requirement as hospital admissions have drastically come down
There is demand for blood for emergency surgeries, road traffic accidents, child-birth-related complications, burns and so on. Further, blood is perishable and has a limited shelf life. So it has to be donated periodically to help maintain stocks.
Myth: One cannot take Covid-19 vaccine after blood donation
Blood donation is no contraindication for any type of Covid vaccination.

Eligibility
Blood can be donated 28 days after the first or the second dose
28 days after recovery from Covid infection or close contact with a positive individual



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