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03 Nov 2012
Blood banks in city plan special drives to prevent shortage

With the number of dengue cases going up in the city, blood banks are receiving a tremendous demand for platelets and have now resorted to special blood donation drives to ensure there is no shortage.

Dr Atul Kulkarni, director–in–charge of Jankalyan Blood Bank, said the demand for platelets has doubled since October. "On an average, we usually get requirement for 600 to 700 random donor platelets (RDP). In October, this demand went up to 1500 RDP which is more than double. This increase is mainly due to dengue and viral fevers," he explained.

Ruby Hall Clinic’s medical director Dr Sujata Mallik confirmed that there was a huge demand for platelets. "Our blood bank is taking up special blood donation drives because of the demand," she said.

The frequency of blood donation drives has increased thanks to the demand. Dr Sanjeev Ketkar, in–charge of blood bank at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital said, "The shelf life of donated platelets is five days. Earlier, after a blood Aarogya news
donation drive, we used to struggle to use up platelets within 5 days so it wouldn’t be wasted. Nowadays it gets utilised in 2 days with fresh demand keeping us on our toes. Keeping the excessive demand in mind, we have started organising extra drives and even calling up registered donors," he said.

In the last couple of months, dengue fever cases have spiked with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) confirming receiving reports of 507 cases, of which 308 were registered in October. Moreover, the disease has claimed six lives in the city.

"However we would like to assure people that so far no one has got any complications because of shortage or not receiving platelets. The blood banks are taking up special drives to ensure such a situation doesn’t arise in the future too. Last week we had a meeting with senior officials of State Blood Transfusion Council to discuss the same," said Kulkarni.

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