Hyderabad: Thalassaemia patients who require regular blood transfusions are having problems as blood reserves have reduced, owing to fewer donations during the festival season.
Thalassaemia is a hereditary blood disorder in which the body produces less haemoglobin than normal. Due to this, patients require lifelong blood transfusions every two to five weeks.
Ashwin Reddy, a thalassaemia patient who regularly undergoes transfusions the blood bank of the Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Society (TSCS) here, said he had been asked to get donors for the past few weeks. He is relying on Twitter and WhatAapp groups to obtain blood, and has also approached other blood banks.
Dr Suman Jain, paediatrician and in-charge of the TSCS blood bank said there has been a shortage since December. “In a day, we get 50 to 60 requests for blood, but we are not in a position to provide blood to even 20 to 30 patients. In the districts, we are calling previous donors and requesting them to donate blood but in Hyderabad, we are asking the patients to get donors if possible,” she said.
Dr Jain attributed the shortage to the festival season with Christmas, New Year, Sankranti and Republic Day all occurring at regular intervals, as few donors come forward to donate during festivals. The society is hoping that they will get more donors by February.
CH Durga, camp coordinator at the society, said though some shortage occurs every year, it has been more pronounced this time. “In summers too, we have such shortages because of two reasons. Firstly, people are dehydrated and so do not come forward to donate. Secondly, we get a lot of donors from camps at colleges but when they are shut for summer vacations we lose out on those donations.”
She said donation drives were conducted at IT firms too but were stopped since the onset of the pandemic, when firms switched to work-from-home. But now, with firms reopening their offices, they hope that they can resume the camps this year. The police department and NGOs provided a lot of help during the pandemic, she added.
> Frequency of blood transfusions needed for Thalassaemia patients: Every 2-5 weeks
> No. of requests for blood at Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Society: 50-60 per day
> Current blood availability: 20-30 patients per day
> Major sources of blood: Camps at colleges and IT firms...