Mumbai: BMC wants blood banks to supply platelets judiciously

  • Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 22, 2015 17:29 IST

To avoid adverse effects in patients as a result of excessive and unnecessary blood transfusions, the BMC wants blood banks to supply blood and its components such as platelets, plasma, judiciously.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has called for a meeting next week with blood banks operating in Mumbai to discuss the ‘unnecessary platelet transfusions’ in patients, especially those suffering from dengue.

Last year, Mumbai witnessed a surge in dengue infection with 861 cases and 12 dengue-related deaths reported from different parts of the city. The civic death review committee, which analyses cause of death as a result of communicable diseases such as dengue, malaria and swine flu, found that majority of those deaths could have been prevented if platelets were not arbitrarily transfused.

“We found that the doctors were transfusing 20 to 30 units of platelets in a single patient. Platelet transfusions are lifesaving but can be fatal also as it can cause bleeding,” said a senior doctor who is a part of the committee.

The doctor said that there had been a case where a 60-year-old man admitted at a private hospital with dengue died, after he was given multiple platelet transfusions even when his platelets were a healthy 70,000 units.

“At present, blood banks function like business units, they supply blood and its components according to the demand. We just want blood components to be used judiciously,” said Dr P Keskar, executive health officer, BMC’s health department.

The civic body wants blood banks to monitor supply of blood platelets and other components and identify any ‘over-prescription of blood components.’

Transfusion-related acute lung injury is one of the most common complications of blood transfusions. “Fresh frozen plasma and platelets, if transfused unnecessarily, it can lead to reactions. Doctors have to be extremely cautious while perfor ming blood transfusions in pregnant women,” said Dr Rekha Daver, head of gynaecology department, JJ Hospital, Byculla.

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