Telangana faces Single Donor Platelets shortage as dengue cases rise

Some hospitals in State lack machinery and manpower while others do not have kits needed for SDP procedure

Published: 09th July 2022 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th July 2022 05:46 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: With a spike in the number of dengue cases being reported, none of the government blood banks in the city or in districts like Karimnagar and Warangal have full-fledged infrastructure to provide Single Donor Platelets (SDP). 

Despite being licensed, many hospitals, including Gandhi and MNJ, do not have the machinery and technicians needed for the procedure to obtain SDP. However, while hospitals such as Osmania have the machinery, they face an acute shortage of kits required for the procedure. 

Telangana has been witnessing a constant increase in the number of dengue and Covid-19 cases since last month. With the onset of the monsoon, dengue cases are expected to increase even more. 

Lack of platelets in a dengue patient leads to bleeding which is one of the dreaded complications. In such cases, SDP can help the patient get access to platelets. “SDP requirement is not particularly high. However, it increases during the season,” said Dr Karuna Mandapu.   

A Gandhi Hospital staffer confirmed that the SDP facility is unavailable there due to lack of efficient technicians. “There used to be 16 technicians in the hospital that collected the highest volume of blood in the state. Now there are only six,” he said. Similarly, MNJ Cancer Hospital is waiting for a new advanced machine as production of kits suitable for the older machinery has now stopped in India.

Only three kits in the OGH are available as of now. “We ordered 20 kits a month ago. Two arrived after 10 days and one arrived yesterday,” a medical officer said.All government hospitals in the city order these kits from private vendors.

A total of 15 kits are available in Karimnagar District Hospital as against the requirement of 100 in a season. MGM Hospital in Warangal too lacks this facility due to poor infrastructure.

“Random Donor Platelets (RDP) can be used as supportive transfusion, but RDP has lower concentration of platelets. According to protocol, SDPs are recommended if the platelet count in patients drops below 10,000-15,000,” said a doctor.

In absence of SDP facilities, these hospitals either opt for RDP or ask relatives of the patient to procure SDPs from a private blood bank, which poor patients cannot afford.

The protocol

  • For SDP, a kit costing Rs 8,000-Rs 9,000 is required each time. The platelets are collected and stored in a bag provided in this kit while the blood is returned to the donor. 
  • According to protocol, SDPs are recommended if the platelet count in patients drops below 10,000-15,000


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