A Kandivli blood bank attached to the municipal corporation wasted 856 liters of blood between 2009 and 2017, reveals data from the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS).
The organisation — that compared its data with the information given by the blood bank linked to Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivli — said that there was a difference in the figures, suggesting that the hospital tried to fudge figures on blood waste to avoid punitive action.
MDACS data till February 2017 shows that the blood bank — which serves Shatabdi and Bhagwati municipal hospitals — collected about 19,163units (6,707.05l) of blood during the period out of which 12% (about 2,300 units) expired. Statistics maintained by the hospital, however, showed that 22,198 units (7,769l) of blood was collected out of which 1,336 units (467.6l) got spoilt because of non-usage.
A senior doctor from the hospital said that MDACS data is reliable because it’s maintained by independent representatives who prepare monthly reports.
“It’s common for blood banks to manipulate records, to issue blood free of cost, on recommendations of local corporators or politicians. Also, showing fewer expiries protects them from action from higher BMC authorities,” said the doctor on condition of anonymity. He added that showing documents claiming lesser wastage of blood also helps the blood bank authorities to escape the ire of the food and drug administration (FDA). In its annual inspection, which lasts for a few hours, the FDA largely relies on hospital records and not MDACS reports because of lack of coordination.
Dr P Jadhav, chief medical superintendent of municipal periphery hospitals said that the figures are not worrying. “Wastage of 100 litres of blood a year is not an unexpected amount. At times blood is also brought for patients from other blood banks but they expire from not being used within a limited time period,” said Dr Jadhav.
Right to Information (RTI) activist Chetan Kothari, who accessed the documents through a RTI query said that the wastage could be reduced if the blood had been sent for separation into components. While whole blood has a shelf life of 35 days, its by-products like freshly frozen plasma (FPP) can be stored for 36 months.
“After component separation, fractioning of plasma produces important drugs like albumin, which is essential in the treatment of cancer, liver ailments and burns,” said Kothari.