‘People should file complaint if a hospital asks for blood’

On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, My Medical Mantra talked with Dr Arun Thorat, Assistant Director of State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC). The officer claims that replacement blood donation in the form of deemed blood donation should be totally stopped

‘People should file complaint if a hospital asks for blood’
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He also said that people should come and register a former complaint with SBTC, if any of the hospital was found to be charging for more than the processing fee for blood or asks for replacement blood.

In an interview with My Medical Mantra, Dr Arun Thorat spoke about the issues affecting the process of blood donation, blood wastage and the problem of hospitals overcharging for blood bags

Q: Many a time’s blood is wasted and then people don’t come for donating when they read about blood being wasted. What should be done to encourage more people to donate blood?

A: Nobody discards blood without any reason. Demand for blood is increasing and people should be motivated to donate blood after every three months.

Q: Many times hospitals are found to be overcharging for blood. But, there are not many strict regulations to control this menace. What can be done to control this?

A: Blood cannot be bought. The processing fee is already set by central government. If they are conducting some extra tests then charges for the same should be specified. If customer finds any discrepancy then they should immediately file a written complaint either to Food and Drug Administration’s district level office and they can write to us also. And certainly there is need to have strict regulations on this front.

Q: Hospitals are not supposed to ask patients’ relatives to arrange for blood. But in order to replace the blood in their storage, they continue asking this to patients. What about replacement blood donation?

A: Hospitals are not supposed to ask for blood to anybody undergoing treatment or their relatives. It is a hospital’s responsibility to arrange blood. WHO bans replacement blood donation. Hospitals should tie up with more and more blood banks. If any hospital is found doing that people should file a complaint with us. The government can cancel an NOC or renewal given to them.

People should be more aware and file a complaint then we can certainly take action.

Q: But then, hospitals say it will lead to shortage if replacement blood is not allowed?

A: Then they should go more aggressive to carry out blood donation camps and encourage voluntary blood donation. Replacement blood donation is nothing but deemed as paid blood donation. Voluntary blood donation will ensure fewer infections.

Q: In many cases, transfusion of infections like HIV has happened through blood donation. How to prevent them?

A: We are coming up with new fourth generation technology for testing of these infections. Also, while filing the scrutiny form before blood donation one must fill it diligently.