While India faces a shortfall of about 30 lakh units of blood annually, yet in the last five years over 28 lakh units of blood and its components were discarded by blood banks across India.
Addressing the Lok Sabha regarding this issue, Anupriya Patel, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family, presented the following figures.
No. of Units
S.No Details 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
1 Whole Blood 209,378 212,689 150,567
2 Packed Cells 132,211 195,230 174,848
3 Platelet Concentrate 388,055 488,155 524,378
4 Plasma (FFP and Liquid 289,451 381,584 332,061
In total 1,019,095 1,277,658 1,181,854
The reasons for discard of blood and blood components:
- Reactivity for infections ( Malaria, Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C)
- Expiry due to outdating, especially for platelets which have a short shelf life of only 5 days.
- Deterioration during storage in the form of discoloration, haemolysis, bacterial contamination.
- Not meeting quality parameters after collection and production
- Non-completion of blood collection in requisite quantities due to donor reactions.
Steps being taken to check undue discard of blood/blood components:
- All licensed blood banks are asked to collect whole blood and prepare components as per their requirement and utilisation capacity and the same is monitored by State Food and Drugs Authority.
- Organisations conducting large blood donation camps with collection of greater than 500 units in one day or involving more than one State are to seek permission from respective State Blood Transfusion Council or National Blood Transfusion Council for deputation of adequate teams from licensed blood banks to avoid wastage due to over collection.
- Extant rules permit transfer of blood and blood components between licensed blood banks to optimize the utilization and iron out the surplus/shortage.
- States have been asked to send surplus plasma available with licensed blood banks for plasma fractionation to avoid wastage
- Under E- Rakt Kosh application, blood banks have been asked to share status of availability of blood and component units online for easy access by general public to avoid wastage.