4 months old amongst 250 thalassemia patient suffers; Covid hampered blood donation

4 months old amongst 250 thalassemia patient suffers; Covid hampered blood donation

Kanwar Inder Singh/ Patiala

Parents of around 250 thalassemia children, blood bank authorities of Govt Rajindra hospital Patiala are the one who are worried, now days. The reason for their worry is sharp decline in blood donation by the voluntary blood donors, due to Covid pandemic. .

Govt Rajindra hospital blood bank, which is one the renowned blood bank of north India, known for collecting around 20,000 units per year, has almost exhausted its blood stock, in this period, due to negligible blood donation, after the unlocking of lockdown.

“4 months old baby is amongst the 250 thalassemia children who are enrolled with Govt Rajindra hospital, blood bank, need fresh, healthy, special blood, for this genetic blood disorder, which requires regular blood transfusion for lifetime.” Said Dr Rajni Bassi, incharge of blood bank Govt Rajindra Hospital Patiala

“We used to collect about 20,000 units of blood a year from the voluntary blood donors. 600 units per month is exclusively used for thalassemia patients only, who need blood all their life, rest for  pregnant women, accident cases, cancer patients and many other patients,”  said Dr Rajni.

Dr Rajni further said that “we are reaching out to the NGO’s, individual blood donors , various welfare associations in our area, to organise number of small blood donation camps by following physical distancing measures and taking all the necessary precautions. But we are not getting much response.”

She further informed that, “our blood collection has gone down, drastically. But, patients still need blood. I want to appeal to the voluntary blood donors to come forward and donate blood and save lives”.

Dr Ramesh Kumar Kundal, head of Pathology department, Govt Medical College, Patiala said “due to these regular blood transfusion, a person can survive longer, now these days”. He further informed that “normally thalassemia patient needs 1-2 times of blood change in a month, as per the requirement. We have a patient who is around 30 years of old, who survived till now, just because of regular blood transfusion.”

He further informed that “because of the COVID-19, there is an acute shortage of blood in blood bank and several thalassemia patients, who need regular blood transfusion, or else it, can be fatal. And it isn’t the thalassemia patients alone who are suffering due to the blood shortage, Cancer patients, pregnant women, accident victims, emergency patients, etc are all under extreme stress, Govt Rajindra hospital is one the largest hospital of the region and its blood bank still try to  caters demand of almost everyone”