Blood banks in Guwahati are running dry on stocks due to lockdown
A massive fall in blood donations because of the lockdown has caused the blood banks in Guwahati to dry up. Needy patients are struggling and suffering.
Since the nationwide lockdown began amid the coronavirus pandemic, blood donation camps haven’t been permitted. A spokesperson for the Saharia’s Path Lab and Blood Bank said, “We are left with just 10 units of blood.”
The shelf-life of the blood is also a cause for concern. “Red blood cells can only be used until 42 days from the day they are prepared. After that, they have to be thrown away. We may have to shut down in the next month if the lockdown continues,” added the spokesperson.
Dr. Shumon Naya, of Saharia’s Lab and Blood Bank said, “Sometimes in post pregnancy cases, blood transfusion is needed. Thalassemia patients are also treated through blood transfusion. Chemotherapy also requires blood. It’s absolutely necessary for blood banks to have a decent stock.”
Another spokesperson from the Ganga Blood Bank said that they have nine units of blood left with them. Hospitals in the city are also alarmed. At the Marwari Hospital, the lockdown has resulted in their stock of blood being reduced from 300 units to 80 units in their stock.
Dr. SN Sharma of Marwari Hospital is concerned about the patients who travel from far and wide for the blood. “There is a need of blood banks with enough stock,” he said. “Patients travel long distances to come here. And when they get here, they have to wait for a long time to get blood.”
Charu Agarwal, Director of KHOON, an NGO, said, “It is difficult to get blood donors now as people are not willing to step forward for fear of transmitting or contracting the coronavirus.”
“A few days ago, after midnight, I got a call from the parents of a 20-month-old baby who needed blood. But we could only arrange the blood by morning, and by then the baby was dead.”
In another such incident, a 69-year-old patient died at the GNRC hospital due to unavailability of blood.
Feature Image Credits- Wikipedia