VISAKHAPATNAM: Shortage of blood has hit all blood banks across 13 districts of the state, triggering panic among medical professionals and patients. The state has nearly 100 blood banks, including 18 branches of Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), 20 of government institutions like Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences, KGH, RIMS-Srikakulam, and Guntur Government Hospital.
Each blood bank must maintain at least 4,000–5,000 units of blood belonging to various types every day. Currently, hardly 200 units of blood are available at almost each blood bank within the state.
Confirming this to Deccan Chronicle, IRCS Andhra Pradesh vice-chairman P. Jaganmohana Rao attributed the shortage to second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and on-going vaccine drive across the state.
“People are not coming forward to donate blood due to fear of Coronavirus and ongoing vaccinations. A vaccinated person must wait for at least two months before donating blood. Since the government has announced vaccination for those above 18 years from June 21, shortage of blood will be more acutely felt in the coming days,” Jaganmohana Rao warned.
In this context, he asked people, particularly youth, to donate blood before they go in for their vaccination. “This would, in fact, help them develop antibodies faster, he stated.
A senior health official at KGH here said shortage of blood has mainly affected treatment of serious Covid-19 cases, black fungus, road accidents, and general surgeries, wherein blood is required. In addition, there are people suffering from anaemia, sickle-cell anaemia and thalassemia, who need transfusion of blood every month until they get cured. The official disclosed that such people are around 8,000 in the state. Srikakulam district itself has nearly 350 of them.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, relative of a patient admitted to VIMS in the city said, “I personally experienced the trauma of getting a single unit of blood during this phase of pandemic. Even my relatives and friends did not turn accept to my request for donating blood. I finally managed from other sources.”