After four patients from Mumbai and outside sought units of the extremely rare Bombay Blood group (BBG) in the last five days, blood banks are making special arrangements for its supply.
Volunteers are carrying cartons of blood in the city to help patients receive it on time. On Friday, Vinay Shetty, co-founder, Think Foundation, went to Mahatma Gandhi Seva Mandir Blood Bank, Bandra to pick up one unit of the rare blood group and deliver it to the domestic airport cargo section at Santacruz for a patient at Hyderabad who suffers from renal failure.
About 55 people in the city have BBG, out of which only 22 are active donors, while the others are either not traceable or cannot donate blood owing to various health problems.
“Since the past two months, we have arranged for about 12 units of blood. Now we are close to exhausting our active donors as blood can be donated only once in three months. Three donors are out of town, while two were found to have low haemoglobin,” said Shetty whose group organises regular blood donation camps and gets calls from hospitals in case of shortage of blood.
Since Monday, four patients — two from Mumbai and two from Hyderabad—required the rare blood group. The sudden demand is owing to a number of planned surgeries or health complications in people from this group.
“We found two new donors who had donated blood in KEM Hospital and Plasma Blood Bank, Dombivli, failing which there would have been an acute shortage,” said Shetty.
The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) plans to write to all the blood banks and seek a list of people who have BBG to increase their database. “We will ask all the blood banks to share information about people with this blood group. We want to maintain a strong database so that we can assist patients who need this blood,” said Dr Sanjay Jadhav, additional director, SBTC.