Nearly 2,300 blood units discarded by Chandigarh blood banks in one year: RTI | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Nearly 2,300 blood units discarded by Chandigarh blood banks in one year: RTI

Officials state infected blood to be the reason for discarding blood units while experts hold transfusion committees responsible, alleging mismanagement among them.

punjab Updated: Jan 29, 2018 21:31 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
In one year, blood of 902 voluntary blood donors was found infected with HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or syphilis.
In one year, blood of 902 voluntary blood donors was found infected with HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or syphilis.(iStock photo )

The four blood banks in Chandigarh have discarded nearly 2,300 blood units in 2016-2017. It is 2.4% of the total blood collected in one year.

One unit of blood is either 350ml or 450ml. From one unit of blood, three to four blood components such as packed cells or red blood corpuscles, platelets, fresh plasma, cryoprecipitate, plasma can be taken.

As per the data collected by a city-based Right to Information activist RK Garg under RTI query, around 95,000 units of blood were collected in one year.

A former PGI employee, on the basis of anonymity, said blood is wasted because of the lack of co-operation from surgeons and careless attitude of hospital’s transfusion committee.

The data reveals that nearly 10,000 units of blood components were also discarded by the blood banks from April 2016 to March 2017. The number of discarded blood components does not match with the number of blood units discarded. In blood components, the maximum wastage is of platelets, which was over 6,500 units.

“Shelf life of platelets is only three to five days; hence more platelets are bound to be wasted,” says Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) employee on the basis of anonymity.

Blood units discarded at banks

As many as 1,606 units of the fresh plasma were wasted, which can be stored for at least one year, which was the second highest wasted component. This was followed by the wastage of packed cells or red blood corpuscles – 1,422 units.

The data of PGIMER blood bank shows that over 1,500 blood units were wasted. The data further reveals that over 7,300 units of blood components were discarded, out of which maximum number was of platelets – 4,980 units.

Rotary Blood Bank was at the second number at discarding blood units with 448 blood units discarded here in one year. Over 200 units of blood were wasted at Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, and 41 units were discarded at Government Multi Specialty Hospital.

Blood of over 900 people was found infectious in a year In one year, blood of 902 voluntary blood donors was found infectious, which means they were suffering from either of the four diseases – HIV+, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis.

At PGIMER, blood of 528 donors were found infectious; while 57 were diagnosed with HIV, over 20 had hepatitis B, more than 190 units were infected with hepatitis C and 15 had syphilis.

Why is blood being discarded?

The officials say that only reactive (infected) blood units are discarded, other experts say that mismanagement by blood transfusion committees lead to such wastage of blood. PGI blood transfusion head Dr Neelam Marwaha said, “A reactive blood unit has to be discarded as per the guidelines of the Government of India.”

She said, “Every blood unit is tested for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis and malaria.” PGI blood transfusion department professor Dr RR Sharma said blood is discarded for two reasons, either it is reactive or units do not qualify the quality control criteria.

However, a former PGIMER employee, on the basis of anonymity, said blood is wasted because of the lack of co-operation from surgeons and careless attitude of hospital’s transfusion committee.

“Attendants take blood units in advance and most of the times it is not used because it is not kept properly. We usually do not take blood bags, hence it goes waste,” she said. “I have seen people freezing blood bags and they do not know how to keep it,” she further informed.

Dr Sharma said, “Earlier there was this issue of storing blood but now every OT has blood storage refrigeration, so blood taken to OTs does not get wasted.” However, activist Garg said, “The purpose of filing an RTI was to ensure that the authorities become responsible.”