Andhra Pradesh aims to convert its blood banks into facilities that can supply blood components. (AFP Photo)
Vijayawada: Given the huge demand for blood components for patients suffering from various diseases, Andhra Pradesh aims to convert its blood banks into facilities that can supply blood components.
At present, AP has 173 blood banks, of which 40 are under the government and 133 in the private sector. Of the 40 BBs, 14 have the facility to provide blood components and so do the over 80 BBs in the private sector.
Patients require specific components. Those who get infected with dengue require platelets and anemic pregnant women need RBC. There is a need to process stored blood into components like WBC, RBC, plasma, platelets etc for supply based on the requirements of patients.
Health officials say conversion of blood banks dealing with whole blood into facilities providing components will cost about Rs 50 lakh per unit.
At present, all the hospitals attached to government medical colleges and hospitals located at district headquarters are having blood banks that separate the components. Those located in area hospitals and in small towns and villages need to have such blood banks.
In the private sector, all private medical college hospitals in urban areas and several other blood banks have facilities to separate components.
The need for blood components arises when seasonal fevers like dengue, chikungunya, malaria, typhoid etc spread. Private hospitals often face allegations of fleecing of patients by charging them heavily to transfuse platelets etc.
The state government is according top priority for the health sector by setting up as many as 16 new medical colleges and strengthening the health infrastructure. A part of this endeavour is the conversion of conventional blood banks into facilities that can offer various components also.
A senior health official said, "We are planning to convert some blood banks dealing with whole blood into those that can offer various components of the blood, under the National Health Mission. Moreover, it helps optimise the use of every drop of voluntarily donated blood if the components are separated and given to larger numbers of patients instead of the whole blood being given to just one patient."