Platelet Demand Doubles As Dengue Cases Rise
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19 August 2010
New Delhi, India
Health Department To Upgrade One Blood Bank In Each District
With dengue cases on the rise, the demand for platelets and other blood products, including fresh frozen plasma and packed cells, has gone up in the capital.
Blood banks, specially those in government hospitals, say the demand has almost doubled in the past 20 days. Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on Wednesday reported 20 new cases of dengue. With this, the number of cases has risen to 297. Though MCD has issued challans to several schools and colleges, the institutions are yet to issue an advisory to students.
With the Commonwealth Games just a few days away and both dengue and H1N1 influenza infections tightening their grip on the city, the state health department has identified one government hospital in each district where it is upgrading the blood bank facilities. ‘‘In the past 20–25 days, the demand has almost doubled. We have to work extra time to make platelets and other blood products. We are getting patients from private hospitals too. But not many people are ready to donate blood,’’ said a senior doctor at DDU Hospital’s blood bank.
Dr Anju Verma, in–charge of Rotary blood bank, said, ‘‘Though ours is a stand–alone blood bank, we are getting a large number of people asking for blood products. Usually, people come to us when they are turned away by hospital–run blood banks. A majority of people are asking for platelets. We are preparing to tackle the demand, specially in view of the Commonwealth Games. Around October, the dengue infection will be at its peak and so will be the demand for platelets and other blood products.’’
Though most government hospitals have a blood bank, doctors say they are heavily short on staff. ‘‘Most blood banks are well–equipped with machinery required to make different blood products, but there are no technicians. At GTB Hospital, we are not able to run the blood bank 24x7 as there are no technicians for the evening and night shifts,’’ said Dr Bharat Singh, director, state blood transfusion council, Delhi government.
According to Kiran Walia, health minister, ‘‘We will have one blood bank in each district to cater to the increase in demand for blood products. Hospitals such as DDU, GTB, Ambedkar, Malviya Nagar, etc, will upgrade the facility.’’
Meanwhile, educational institution are also under the scanner. MCD has issued challans to 20 schools and colleges. They are Hansraj College, Gargi College, Shivaji College, Ambedkar College, DAV Public schools in Jasola Vihar and West Patel Nagar and Central School, Vigyan Vihar. Among those penalized are three MCD–run schools and three government schools. Bal Bhawan is also under the scanner.
Many institutions have claimed that the present situation was a result of the ongoing digging and construction work in public places.