Shortage of blood forces hosps to postpone surgeries
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Shortage of blood forces hosps to postpone surgeries

Pandemic cases have come down and the lockdown restrictions have been eased. But hospitals in the city are still facing shortage of blood due to lack of donors, because of which they are forced to postpone surgeries.

Chennai

Doctors said they try to get blood from the patients’ family members. When that fails, there are times when even hospital staff and doctors donate blood due to the crippling shortage.
Dr V Ashwin Karuppan, consultant, general medicine, Gleneagles Global Health City, said they were not able to mobilise donors, one of the biggest reasons for which is people getting the vaccine shots.
“Those who have taken the vaccine cannot donate blood for the next 15 days. Many youngsters are either vaccinated or are who are working from home and are afraid of coming out,” he said.
It is even more complication when it comes to transplantation, as they usually need fresh donors. And they have to get it on the morning of the surgery. These have made it very difficult for hospitals to get donors.
Dr Ashwin said his hospital has a database of donors, who are contacted to request if they could donate. “Some people do but some don’t. In such a situation, we ask the patient’s relative or friends to donate. Sometimes, even hospital staff and doctors donate blood,” he said, explaining how this has forced all the hospitals to postpone surgeries. Now, he added, many campaigns are being done to improve blood donation drive.
“Usually we hold camps or people donate blood during their birthdays or any other special occasion. All that have come down drastically,” said Dr Vijaylakshmi Balakrishnan, senior consultant, infectious diseases, Kauvery Hospital.
There still are confusions among the public about donating after vaccination. “When donors come forward, we should make sure that the person does not have COVID. So we have a questionnaire that they have to fill it before donating blood. These days, patients’ kin are the main donors,” Dr Vijayalakshmi added. Doctors added that they hoped that this shortage would be over if there is no third wave of the pandemic, which would help lift the lockdown completely. Many of them are expecting that it would take at least eight months to a year for the situation to return to complete normalcy.

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