Hyderabad hospitals may face blood shortage as donors are ready to take COVID-19 jab

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Hyderabad: The city hospitals which are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to face blood shortage in the coming months. While the demand for blood may increase the number of blood donors is likely to decrease substantially.

City hospitals need 2.5 lakh units of blood every year which may double in the coming months as more and more patients are relying on plasma therapy. Similarly, blood requires for thalassemia and anemia patients as well as for road accident victims.

Blood donation organisations and blood banks are requesting the people to donate blood before taking COVID-19 vaccine as they cannot donate blood for at least three months after taking first and second jab.

Speaking about the situation, P Sarojan of Hyderabad Blood Donor Society said, “We are receiving about 50 calls daily for blood requirement which has been increased significantly. We can fulfil only half of the demand.”

“There is no doubt that the blood donors are coming forward to save the society but the problem is platelets. It is difficult to get platelet donors as these donors have to wait for three hours to complete this process. These donors are unwilling to stay that long in the hospitals fearing they may contract Coronavirus,” P Sarojan said.

Speaking about the blood demand in the city, an official of a blood bank Navin Chary said, “We would require double the quantity of the blood compared to the normal situation. We need about 5 lakh units of blood. We are holding blood donation camps to increase the supply. But the supply may likely to decrease gradually as the youngsters are registering to take COVID-19 vaccination.”

“About 90% of those who donate blood are college students. A unique situation is likely to come up in the city as when these students are vaccinated they cannot donate their blood for at least three months,” Navin Chary said.

Moreover, the number of blood donors is decreasing gradually. On average, an NGO collects 1500 units of blood, said Navin Chary.

“We have witnessed 30% decrease in blood donors during the past year. The next three months could be even more difficult. It would be difficult to obtain even 1000 units of blood. Hence we appeal to the public to donate blood a week before taking COVID-19 jab,” Navin Chary said.