Mumbai blood banks face acute shortage

Mumbai is experiencing a shortage of blood supply during this winter. The city blood bank officials said, they are witnessing a drop in blood donors due to the lack of blood donation camps 

Blood-shortage (1)

There is always a significant, on-going need for blood. Because, there is no substitute for human blood, the generosity of blood donors helps to ensure that we maintain an adequate supply for our patients. But, blood donation has still not gained momentum, which has resulted in to blood shortage. Owing to which patients and their relatives in municipal and government hospitals face a lot of problems and run to the private hospitals in order to get blood.

One of the reasons given by the blood bank officials was absence of blood donation camps that are usually organised during festivals. “There is no sufficient blood available in Mumbai. Every month 2,500 to 3,000 units of blood is collected in KEM Hospital. But now, only 110 units of blood are available,” said a senior blood bank official from KEM Hospital.

He said every month, 10 to 12 blood donation camps are organised from which 500 bags of blood are collected. “This collection is sufficient for 4 to 5 days. After which there is no blood for patients at the end of the month. In such case, relatives of patients are asked to arrange blood,” said the official.

Cama and Albless Hospital is another state-run hospital that is facing the acute shortage of blood. “More than 100 blood bags are collected monthly. But, this time only 25 blood bags have been collected,” said a blood bank official from Cama and Albless Hospital.

The situation is same in Rajawadi Hospital- a peripheral hospital run by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. However, when My Medical Mantra contacted private hospitals in the city, they refused to provide any information about the shortage.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Maruti Kasare, social worker, Sant Nirankari Blood Bank said, “People demand blood in large numbers but there is shortage. After blood donation camps of December, we will be able to collect 50 to 100 units of blood.”

In Mahatma Phule Seva Mandir Charitable Trust Hospital in Parel, the blood bank officials have asked the doctors to postpone elective surgeries because of blood shortage.

Its blood bank officer Dr Kishor Jha said, “Hospitals needs 300 to 450 units of blood. But, currently only 10 to 12 units of blood are available. Therefore, we have asked doctors to wait for two to three days for the surgery. Next few days will be critical. If blood donation camps are not organised, the condition will worsen.”

Agreeing to Dr Jha, Meetu Mohanty, Prabodhan blood bank said they have to now rely on regular donor list available with them for emergency situation. “There is no blood in the blood banks. We have to contact donors and request them to donate blood for the patients in need. Form which, only two have come and donated blood.”

The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) however denied any shortage of blood. While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Arun Thorat, assistant director, SBTC said, “The city requires 25 thousand units of blood every month. Blood banks can face blood shortage. But till now, we haven’t got any information of blood shortage from any blood bank. Blood is being collected by blood donation camps. We are making all efforts to make blood available. Moreover, there are three thousand units of blood available in Mumbai and there is no shortage.”