Jagatsinghpur: Fewer donors, heatwave hit blood bank reserves

A major hurdle is regular donors such as college students are unavailable since educational institutions are closed for summer vacation.
Representative Image
Representative Image

JAGATSINGHPUR: An acute shortage of blood has hit Jagatsinghpur district forcing people to travel to Cuttack in search of treatment during critical procedures.

The blood bank at the district headquarters hospital (DHH) is facing a crisis of sorts as patients are being redirected to other places. Its monthly requirement stands at 250 units, amounting to nearly 2,500 units annually. However, there is a shortage at the blood bank.

A pregnant woman who was advised c-section at the DHH had to be referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack due to blood shortage. Her family eventually chose to admit her to a private hospital, sources said.

Several factors have contributed to the crisis, including the long stint of the general election, heatwave and non-availability of air-conditioned (AC) mobile vehicles for transporting blood from donation camps to the DHH bank.

A major hurdle is regular donors such as college students are unavailable since educational institutions are closed for summer vacation. Besides, the prolonged hot conditions have prevented donors to travel to blood donation camps whose number dropped due to the election process. Many youths alleged that political leaders and influential persons organise donation camps for their vested interests which is why they have stayed away from such camps.

The absence of AC mobile vehicles has also hindered the department’s efforts to collect blood from donation camps as there is no proper means to transport to the DHH. Additionally, people from remote areas are reluctant to travel to the DHH blood bank due to distance and travel expenses, exacerbating the shortage.

Health experts and doctors suggest the Health department should focus on conducting more blood donation camps in rural areas, accompanied by awareness programmes as these areas have healthier and fitter donors.

Medical superintendent of Jagatsinghpur DHH Saroj Kumar Jena acknowledged the situation, citing heatwave as the reason no blood donation camps could be conducted since February. The lack of AC mobile vehicles has also impacted blood transportation. Steps are being taken to conduct blood donation camps in rural areas to address the situation, he added.

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