Rising Dengue Causes Platelet Crisis In City
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06 September 2010
By Durgesh Nandan Jha
New Delhi, India
Demand Doubles At AIIMS
The rising cases of dengue have created another crisis in the city – a shortage of platelets in most hospitals. Such was the rush of suspected dengue cases at AIIMS on Sunday that only patients whose platelet count had dropped below 50,000 were being admitted. The hospital said platelet transfusion was being restricted to those with a count of below 20,000 accompanied by internal bleeding.
"The requirement of platelets has increased from 70–80 units to more than 150 units per day due to dengue cases. Today, the situation seems worse as Sunday is an off day and daily blood donations have not taken place," said a doctor at AIIMS. The situation at most city hospitals was just a shade better.
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New Delhi: As number of dengue cases rise, AIIMS is running short on platelets. A doctor added that even the single–donation platelet route, through which patients manage platelets on their own via a special kit, was not possible as the blood bank was closed for laboratory work. The doctor said there were three blood banks within the hospital and things were being managed by pooling platelets from blood banks at the cardio–neuro centre and the trauma centre.
Against 71 emergency beds at the premier hospital, there were more than 200 patients seeking treatment on Sunday night.
Max hospital, Saket, reported a shortage of beds and said only critical patients were being admitted. Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, head of the Max’s internal medicine department, said only critical patients were being admitted. The platelets situation, however, was manageable, a hospital doctor said. At east Delhi’s GTB Hospital, sources said the shortage of platelets was the highest in early mornings and late evenings, when the blood bank was closed.
Said a doctor on duty at AIIMS, "There is a long line of patients outside the emergency ward as you can see. We are admitting patients whose platelet count is less than 50,000, subject to availability of beds. Platelets are being administered on only patients whose count is less than 20,000 and there is internal bleeding."
Though AIIMS blood bank in–charge Kabita Chatterjee maintained the hospital had enough platelets, medical superintendent D K Sharma conceded that the increase in dengue patients had put pressure on availability. "The situation is manageable. Platelets are being managed by using resources of all other blood banks and we are also conducting special camps to meet the increased demand," said Dr Sharma.
He said that on Saturday, AIIMS officials conducted a camp in Haryana to get more blood and platelets through donations.