The Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), the country's leader in cancer care, is facing a blood shortage and a couple of days ago, took to social media inviting blood donors. “We are facing a shortage of blood at the Tata Memorial Centre. Please step up to donate blood – it’s perfectly safe, and you'll save lives,” the TMC said on Twitter.
Providing its blood bank phone number (022-24177000), TMC has also offered to go to housing societies to conduct blood donation drives.
TMC director Dr CS Pramesh said that it runs hospitals in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Varanasi, Vizag, Guwahati, Sangrur, and Muzaffarpur, while another at Chandigarh will be operational by November, and said people can also go and donate blood at any of these locations.
He said the hospital needs approximately 60 units of blood every day. “We had a 60% drop at the peak of the lockdown but currently we are witnessing a 25% drop,” he said.
Dr Pramesh said that the hospital was happy to organise blood donation camps in housing societies with a reasonable number of donors. “We have done that right through the pandemic with strict adherence to physical distancing and all precautions,” he said.
Mumbai before the Covid pandemic needed 1,000 units of blood every day, but there has been a drop due to fewer surgeries performed during the lockdown. “However, with the second wave ebbing, the number of surgeries and cancer treatment cycles are increasing and there is bound to be more demand for blood,” said a doctor from a BMC hospital. “It is one of the lowest stocks that Mumbai has had in recent times,” said another doctor working in a suburban hospital.
Senior doctors said that to meet the demand, hospitals are trying to organise blood donation camps, following which many hospitals have tied up with the NGOs.
“We have tied up with NGOs (for blood donation camps) and have managed somehow. The blood shortage is there because no blood donation camps are happening at railway stations, colleges and corporate offices,” said Dr Hemant Deshmukh, dean, KEM Hospital.
Over the past 18 months, several social organisations, political parties, corporates and even Janmashthami and Ganeshotsav mandals have regularly conducted blood donation camps to fill the yawning demand-supply gap.
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