From about four-five cases till about a week ago, Delhi’s hospitals are suddenly getting about 20-25 dengue cases every day. Of these cases, at least a couple of patients are critical enough to require platelet transfusion to arrest their rapidly dropping platelet count.
The blood bank of New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on an average receives 18-20 requests for platelets every day for patients admitted there and from neighbouring hospitals.
“The situation has become worse since the past one week. Our blood bank functions round the clock and we do not have shortage of blood because we don’t emphasise upon having the replacement donor of the same group. We anyway take only platelets and give back the rest of the blood,” said Dr SP Byotra, chairman, department of medicine at the hospital.
Fortis Vasant Kunj has also become strict about admitting dengue patients. “We admit a person only if the patient is severely dehydrated, has high fever that’s not coming down, has acute abdominal pain and underlying medical conditions with fast dropping platelets,” said Dr Vivek Nangia, infectious disease physician at the hospital.
The hospital is getting 15-20 dengue cases every day, out of which 10 require admission, and nearly 10-15% are given platelets. The hospital, however, prefers same blood group as replacement donor.
“Though we prefer a same group blood donor as a replacement, we do relax the criterion if the family is not able to arrange the donor. In that case, we accept randomly donated platelets,” Dr Nangia added.
Almost all private hospitals have about 30-40 dengue cases each at the moment. The government hospitals are also getting a high number of cases with dengue-like symptoms daily.
“We have already reported about 40 dengue cases to the civic agency so far this year. This is the peak time and such a high number of cases is not surprising. Our blood bank is well-equipped to deal with emergency cases at all times,” said a senior doctor at the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Hospital.
Looking at the high numbers, state health minister Dr AK Walia has asked for providing extra beds, taking from the disaster management beds, and earmarking additional exclusive wards for dengue patients if the situation required.
He recently reviewed the availability of platelets at 53 blood banks in Delhi, and found the platelets were presently available in adequate quantity. “There should be no shortage of platelets at any stage,” he directed blood banks.