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Blood banks run dry as Mumbaiites leave city for summer vacations

As more people move out, there are lesser number of people who are able to donate to blood camps, said officials.

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2018 00:33 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
mumbai,blood bank,blood donation
This dilemma occurs every summer, said officials.(Representational photo)

As blood banks in the city reel under a shortage of blood stock, officials have attributed the shortage to people moving out of the city during summers. As more people move out, there are lesser number of people who are able to donate to blood camps, said officials.

Omkar Mahtre, a resident of Sion, who sought blood for his cousin’s leg operations, said he had contacted at least 22 blood banks but had no luck.

“On Thursday, my cousin met with an accident on his bike in Chembur and injured his thighs. Doctors at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion asked me to arrange for a bottle of B positive blood, as the hospital’s stock was over,” said Mahtre. Ultimately, he found a bottle ten hours later at Breach Candy hospital .

Vinay Shetty, founder of Think Foundation, which organises blood donation drives, said that he gets at least ten calls from patients’ family members every day. “The shortage this year is probably not as bad as last summer. But, there is a need to organise more camps to overcome the shortage,” Shetty said.

A technician at Sir JJ Hospital’s blood bank has been directing patients and relatives to get blood from other banks. He said the blood that goes unused from planned surgeries is being used in emergency procedures.

“There are not enough number of donors at the camps. We face a shortage every year during this time. At present we have no blood groups available,” he added. Dr Arun Thorat, who heads the State Blood Transfusion Council, said that they had envisaged the summer blood shortage.

Due to this they set up, in February, a 20-member voluntary blood donation committee to ensure that an adequate number of blood camps are conducted in summer.“We are conducting camps at railway stations and religious places. We have also sent letters to all blood banks directing them to organise more camps during April, May and June to overcome the shortage,” Thorat said.

First Published: May 27, 2018 00:32 IST