Andhra Pradesh faces shortage of blood in summer

Rajahmundry: With the onset of summer, health authorities are facing a shortage of blood to provide to accident victims and patients who undergo surgeries for nearly two-and-half-months beginning form mid-March until May, the students go to their home town for summer vacations. This forces authorities to come up with alternate sources to avoid shortage in the state.

According to an estimate, out of a five crore population, blood requirement is 5,00,000 units per annum (April 1 to March 31) and health authorities have managed to collect nearly 4.4 lakh units so far. Health authorities say that students are the main source of blood anywhere in the state as they voluntarily come forward to donate blood to help save the lives of many who desperately need blood. As they appear for their final exams and go to their home town to spend the summer vacation, health authorities find it tough to overcome the shortage of blood. Of late, as the number of road accidents increases day-by-day, the demand for blood is very high.

When it comes to negative blood groups, the shortage is more. Health authorities admit that there were several instances where accident victims lost their lives in transit while waiting for the required blood group. Some hospitals refer critical cases of accident victims with heavy bleeding to other hospitals located at far-off places without stabilising the health condition of such patients. This is resulting in some of them losing their lives by the time they reach the health centre as they have to travel several kilometers.

Health authorities say that they are coming up with alternate plans to overcome the shortage of blood in summer by organising groups of people, student communities in villages who are enjoying their summer vacation, government officials working in various departments and voluntary donors to donate blood.
As the state government has launched as many as 13 blood collection and transport vehicles — one for each of the 13 districts in the state, these vehicles are armed with a doctor and two lab technicians and are equipped with requisite equipment. They will be moving in rural areas to collect blood. As each vehicle can accommodate two people at a time, health authorities collect blood from donors and store it securely in concerned blood banks.

Health authorities say that women are coming forward to donate blood and in case they are found to be anaemic at that point of time, they are being advised to come after some time and they are doing so promptly. Andhra Pradesh State Aids Control Society additional project director (in-charge) Dr Rajendra Prasad said, “As we face a shortage of blood during summer, we are coming up with alternate plans to overcome this shortage by encouraging donors from various fields to donate blood.”

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