Prakasam faces severe blood scarcity

A serious blood scarcity has been observed in the district with blood donations dropping to 10-15% over the last two months.
Image used for representational pupose only
Image used for representational pupose only

ONGOLE: Prakasam is grappling with severe blood shortage as no mega blood donation camps have been conducted in the district for a long time. Summer vacation for most educational institutions has been cited as the reason for blood donation camps not being conducted.

According to official information, on an average, 100 units of blood are required across the district daily. A serious blood scarcity has been observed in the district with blood donations dropping to 10-15% over the last two months.

Blood transfusion plays a key role to treat serious health conditions like Thalassemia and HIV-AIDS, and during emergency/trauma surgeries performed at the Ongole Government General Hospital (GGH) and other private/corporate hospitals. There are around 150 Thalassemia patients, 25 HIV - AIDS patients and 65 cancer patients in the district, who require regular blood transfusion.

Red Cross, the Government Blood Bank in the Ongole GGH, KIMS Blood Bank, Navya Blood Bank, and New Vision Blood Bank cater to the needs of the people in Ongole town.

Except for a few private blood banks like KIMS, all others have been facing a severe scarcity. The situation is worse for patients with rare blood groups such as O+ and most of the negative (-ve) blood groups.

The Indian Red Cross Society-Ongole (IRCS) blood bank, which is considered one of the best equipped blood banks in the State, has a capacity to keep 300 units of blood. It, too, has not been spared from the current crisis.

Elaborating on the situation, IRCS-Ongole president P Prakash Babu told TNIE, “We face the issue of blood scarcity every summer due to the two-month vacation at educational institutes. We have been able to procure only 40% of the total blood capacity we have for a month.”

Further, he explained that one unit blood can save three lives as it contains Packed Cells, Serum, and Plasma components. Stating that they have applied for a license to store blood components, Prakash hoped that the license will be granted soon and IRCS will be able serve more people.

Responding to the crisis, District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) Dr D Suresh Kumar said directives have been issued to all private blood banks in the district to conduct blood donation camps immediately to address the issue.

“As per norms, private blood banks have to give 30% of their stock to government blood banks in the interest of serving the people,” he explained.

The DMHO said mega blood donation camps will be organised as soon as engineering, medical, nursing and other professional colleges reopen. Further, he added that the district medical and health department will conduct small blood donation camps with the support of NGOs.

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