After facing a dual medical crisis in the form of an acute shortage of plasma to treat Covid-19 patients and dwindling blood stock due to paucity of donors, the status at Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation’s (MBMC) lone blood bank-cum-plasma center in Mira Road is has witnessed a slight improvement this week.
However, the supply is not as much as it is during this period every year, prompting the civic administration to tap social media platforms including Facebook and WhatsApp to reach out to potential donors.
Apart from shortage of plasma for Convalescent Plasma (CPP) therapy, MBMC’s blood bank was running dry because of stocks hitting rock bottom due to paucity of donors compounded by obstacles in organizing blood donation camps due to the pandemic induced lockdown.
The bank had only 11 bottles of different blood groups in stock on 11, October. However, thanks to the drives organized by organisations like- the Bharat Jain Maha Mandal, Kutch Yuvak Sangh and Munisubratswami Jain Trust, the stock has gone up to 121 units.
This even after dispensing 149 bottles in the past one week from 19 to 27 October. On the other hand MBMC tele-callers managed to establish contact with around 400 people who had recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma.
However, till now the bank has enlisted 140 potential plasma donors, even as only 16 packs are currently available. “Although the demand for plasma has gone down, the monthly requirement of blood continues to hover above 600 units. We have launched an intensified social media campaign on our FB page and WhatsApp groups to encourage camps and to connect with voluntary blood donors.” said, in-charge of MBMC’s blood bank- Vinayak Choudhary.
Apart from accident cases and other requirements, blood transfusion is needed for operations which were kept on hold due to the lockdown. Moreover the main treatment for patients suffering from ailments like thalassemia, for which the bank issues an average of 20 to 30 units to such patients free of cost.
Notably, the quantity of blood collected witnessed a significant drop of around 40 percent between April and July this year.