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Severe shortage in blood banks in J&K due to absence of donors

Last Updated on May 19, 2021 at 6:52 pm

Blood Banks throughout Jammu and Kashmir are having an acute shortage of blood. Remaining stocks with them are increasingly depleting. A major reason behind this shortage is outbreak of Covid due to which neither blood donation camps can be conducted not people prefer to visit hospitals to donate blood.

Sources informed that there are total 35 Blood Banks in J&K. Out of these, 16 are located in Jammu division and remaining 19 in Kashmir. Some patients like Thalassemia patients require a regular blood transfusion. Other than that, pregnant women undergoing c-Section, blood cancer patients and accident victims also need a blood transfusion. Since most Blood Banks and blood storage centres in the UT don’t have any storage left, patients are being asked to arrange blood themselves.

Even though there are lesser restrictions on movement of people in comparison to last year still blood donation drives could not be conducted. All government officials are busy dealing with covid and this problem is being ignored.

Major Blood Banks of the UT like Government Medical Colleges Jammu/ Srinagar and SKIMS Soura have some stock left for emergency/trauma patients. However, small Blood Banks based in District Hospitals don’t have any stock left as no stock has been added in last 20-25 days.

As daily COVID cases started increasing and government started a mass vaccination drive, it further deteriorated the situation. Even healthy people stopped visiting Blood Banks and donate blood. Government issued guidelines that a person who has been injected with vaccine can donate blood only after 28 days.

Government Blood Banks are asking for replacement donors from the Thalassemia patients who need blood. Private banks are charging a high amount for blood to such patients. An official of Blood Bank, GMC Jammu said that they don’t have many options available. Their stocks are almost empty. They don’t even have most commonly available blood groups in stock. They are forced to ask for replacement blood so that they can use it in emergency cases.

He appreciated government’s decision to suspend elective surgeries in all the Government and private hospitals. Otherwise, it would have caused many problems for them as no blood donation camps are being organized amidst this covid crisis.