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Drop in blood donation as donors fear to venture out: Experts
Blood donation drives have plummeted by 20 per cent in the State due to the pandemic, according to health experts. On World Blood Donor Day (June 14), experts opined that voluntary donation has been affected as people are hesitant to go out and donate during unprecedented times.
Dr Shanmuga Priya RA, Consultant Transfusion Medicine, Fortis Hospital said that the donors have been reluctant during the pandemic leading to blood shortage by 20 per cent in the State. With restrictions to travel and fear of contacting COVID from the healthcare centres, regular donors have not been giving their blood as before. “Even as the per cent of road accident has gone down, there are patients, who require blood. Unfortunately, we are not able to cater to their needs owing to the shortage of blood donors,” she added.
Donation from youngsters, who are the major donors, has also taken a dip as vaccination has also been extended them. Also, campaigns are organised three days before taking the vaccine as can donation is encouraged only after 14 days post-vaccination.
According to guidelines, an individual can donate blood after 14 days of either receipt of COVID-19 vaccine or testing RT-PCR negative, if suffering from COVID-19 disease.
“During the first wave, there were not many elective surgeries performed at hospitals and so there was no shortage of blood. Also, there was no vaccination drive during the first wave. Whenever we called a donor, they would come immediately. We also had adequate blood in the banks. This year, with more youngsters contracting the virus, the process went down, ” said Dr V.Ashwin Karuppan, Consultant in General Medicine at Gleneagles Global Health City.