Blood banks are instrumental when it comes to saving lives in emergency situations as blood donation camps and responsible individuals contribute to the resource which is important for ensuring treatment for those who need it the most.
But any important initiative can easily go wrong if implementation isn’t done properly and this is exactly why six lakh litres of blood has gone to waste in India in the past five years. The wastage of blood that can fill 53 tankers comes at a time when India faces a shortage of blood by 3 million units a year.
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were the states with the highest wastage as stated in a reply to an RTI query. Half of the wasted units were of plasma which has a shelf life of one year that is more than a deadline of 35 days for usage of red blood and whole blood cells to be used.
The main flaw being pointed out is the lack of co-ordination between hospitals and blood bank for sharing blood. Blood donation camps with thousands of people have also faced criticism for being mere tools for politicians to garner votes.
While 500 units of blood are manageable, these camps take blood from 1000 to 3000 participants without any facility to store that many units. This could be better managed if people could just walk into regular blood banks and donate instead of such camps which cannot manage thousands of donors....