Representative pic
Representative pic
Photo by Bhushan Koyande

Indore: Lockdown has indirectly impacted the treatment of heart and thalassemia patients. The corona menace has also affected the city's blood banks because all of a sudden, there's been a sharp fall in the number of donors. The fear factor among people have also led to reduction in the demand for blood..

Dr Vinay Bohara, hematologist, said, "Currently, thalassemia patients living outside Indore are unable to come for treatment and hence are going nearby hospitals.

"In thalassemia, blood transfusions are compulsory and cannot be delayed at any cost. The patients statistics states that 5-6% of population suffers from thalassemia minor, which is not a disease. Also, around 10,000 to 12,000 newborns are afflicted with thalassemia major", Dr Bohara said.

He also said availability of blood is a challenging factor in this unending phases of lockdown. "Local patients are coming daily for treatment but the blood supply is a huge challenge. The patients and their relatives are a pitiable lot and are literally running from pillar to post to get the elixir of life. Also getting the rare groups are an uphill task", Dr Bohara added.

Heart Patients Situation

The hearts are beating but there a lot between each beat. Despite road restrictions, patients are coming for treatment, Dr Bharat Ravat said. He went on to say, "The fear of corona among people, especially heart patients, is clearly evident. The whole scenario is very confusing. People with slight chest pain are nowadays confused with "symptoms" of corona. It is a very critical situation, physiologically and psychologically".

"Surgeries for those who can wait have been put on hold. Emergency cases are only done on priority basis. Also, For open heart surgeries, we wear PPE kits. We also have to take patients' samples for COVID test before the surgeries", Dr Rawat said.

Patients are also on the call. He said, "My current mantra for my patients is to be happy and not be tense. I try my best to attend to my patients especially in such trying times".

Lack of donors

Ashok Nayak who runs a blood bank call centre says the donor number has fallen drastically. However, there are a few donors even in these troubled times.

"Earlier, we used to get a huge number of donors. We can now, however, count the number of them following the stringent fallout of the lockdown. Some come on their own, while we also send vans to bring in donors", Ashok said.

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