Lack of coordination between blood banks and hospitals cost us 6 lakh litres of blood

Serious loopholes in India’s blood banking system has resulted in the loss of over 28 lakh units of blood and its components, or over 6 lakh litres of blood, over the last five years.

The information was provided by the National Aids Control Organisation (NACO) in response to an RTI query, which was filed by petitioner Chetan Kothari.

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This has happened in a country that experiences an annual shortfall of over 3 million units of blood, leading to maternal mortality and deaths in cases of accidents that involve severe blood loss.

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The worst offenders of blood wastage includes Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as hospitals in these states discarded not just whole blood but even its life-saving components like red blood cells and plasma.

Around 50% of the wasted units were of plasma, which can be used up to a year, much longer than the deadline for whole blood and red blood cells, which have to be used within 35 days.

This loss could be blamed to the lack of a strong blood sharing network between banks and hospitals, and blood donation camps collecting 1,000 to 3,000 units of blood without having a proper place to store the large quantities.