SBTC to blood banks: Display information on storage and pricing

The State Blood Transfusion Committee (SBTC) has directed all the blood banks across Maharashtra, to display information of available blood units and group name at the entrance of the blood bank centre. The decision will help benefit thousands of patients who require blood for various medical reasons

SBTC to blood banks: Display information on storage and pricing
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We often read about relatives of patients who run around the city to arrange for blood. At times, they end up losing precious amount of time in going from one blood band to another, only to be turned away due to shortage or non-availability of blood.

To remedy this situation the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) has dispatched a letter to blood banks across the state ordering them to display the blood groups available and the price payable by the relative for the blood group they need.

This information should be displayed at the entrance, where the patient can easily have a look at the information.

Speaking to My Medical Manta, Dr Arun Thorat, director of the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC), said, “To prevent relatives of a patients from being exploited during medical emergencies, we have written a letter to all blood banks in Maharashtra to display the information of blood availability, blood groups available and the price range for the blood groups.”

Dr Thorat further said, “In total, there are 331 blood banks spread across Maharashtra, out of which 59 blood banks are based in Mumbai. During times of emergencies, troubled relatives are easily fleeced by blood banks. Earlier a unit of blood used to cost Rs 1,050 at government-run hospitals, but they then reduced this amount by 200 Rupees, hence, now the current amount for a unit of blood at such hospitals are at Rs 850. Private hospitals charge Rs 1,450 for a unit of blood but they tend to overcharge patients.”

He added, “The WHO recommends that the blood requirement of 1% of a country’s population be used as an estimate of its blood needs. Last year, 27, 193 blood donation camps were held across Maharashtra from which 16, 02,690 units of blood came to be stored. If seen from these standards then one can say that there isn’t a shortage of blood.”

He concluded saying, “But during the summer months (May-June), there are few blood donation camps held and even a number of people in Mumbai head out for vacations. During emergencies, relatives of the patient are already facing a number of difficulties; they should not be overcharged or made to run around searching blood banks. In order to save valuable time, a board should be displayed outside to inform them about the necessary details.”