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Wastage rife in 63 Mumbai blood banks: RTI

Published : May 27, 2016, 1:22 am IST
Updated : May 27, 2016, 1:22 am IST

Responding to an RTI query filed by activist Chetan Kothari, Mumbai District AIDS Control Society has revealed shocking statistics of rampant wastage of blood taking place in 63 blood banks across the

Responding to an RTI query filed by activist Chetan Kothari, Mumbai District AIDS Control Society has revealed shocking statistics of rampant wastage of blood taking place in 63 blood banks across the city.

Mr Kothari’s query regarding blood collection, usage and wastage of blood units from January 2011 to December 2015 found lakhs of units of Freshly Frozen Plasma (FFP), Packated Red Blood Cells (PRCB), Liquid Plasma and Whole Blood (WB) being discarded due to prolonged storage of the same. The figures, including statistics of all 63 blood banks in the city, confirmed that while a total 41,88,077 units (14,65,826 litre) of blood has been collected in the past five years, around 1,30,000 litres of this blood along with FFP and PRCB have expired owing to not being used on time. In the past two years, between January 2014 and December 2015, 22,394 litres of all components were discarded due to delay in usage.

Mr Kothari said that recent circulars from NACO, permitting bulk transfer of blood bags from “blood excess” blood banks to “blood deficient” blood banks, transfer of plasma for fractionation, online updating of stocks on national portals could be the only ways to prevent rampant wastage. “Social workers have to be proactive and there has to be better coordination among them. Also, mega camps, which jeopardise the safety of blood, must be discouraged,” he said.

Currently, there is no legislation or penal provision to keep tabs on the expired blood. FDA, which is one of the regulating bodies, is tasked with the job of keeping tabs on blood banks on whether they are following norms, discarding expired blood and so on. “There has to be legislation or penal provision relating to blood wastage, and appropriate changes must be made in the age-old archaic Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. There has to be a regulatory body as well for the same,” added Mr Kothari.