Earlier this week, the blood bank at the Cardio-Neuro Centre (CNC) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences discarded 140 units of packed red blood cells because it had passed its use-by date. This wasted blood could have benefited 100 patients, if not more, who were refused blood for lack of donors. AIIMS keeps no record of refusals.
AIIMS had collected 200 units of blood at a donation camp and blood bank officials say it was immediately processed into components like frozen plasma, packed red cells and platelet concentrate, for medical use.
Dr Anjali Hazarika, blood bank in-charge at CNC, told HT that at the time all blood banks had enough or surplus blood, so no blood was asked for, leading to the 140 units expiring unused.Yet, in the same time period, AIIMS’ main blood bank also asked for between 60 and 80 units of red blood cells from Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital.
Confirming this, Dr Bharat Singh, in-charge of the hospital’s blood bank and director of the state blood transfusion council, said, “This is absolute mismanagement and wastage. The blood component is in huge demand across departments in hospitals.”
When HT asked why the blood wasn’t used in time or given away to needy patients, especially when there is a perennial shortage of blood in Delhi, Dr Hazarika replied: “A super-specialty centre like CNC has very high consumption of blood components, with comparatively less demand for packed red cells (mostly required for anaemic patients) and are usually in surplus.”
National data suggests annual collection of blood is 5.5-6 million units against the required 8.5 million units. Most requirement is met by replacement blood donation, mandatory across hospitals.