Vacation: Blood banks suffer shortage

Chennai: Donation camps by NCC and NSS serve as a major source for blood banks that help them in keeping adequate quantity of blood for medical emergency. But with schools and colleges closed for summer vacation, these camps are no longer conducted and this has resulted in shortage of blood in banks that collect them.

To bridge the gap between the demand and supply, several hospitals, including the Kilpauk Medical College here, have begun conducting blood donation camps at IT firms to ensure that there is no shortage of blood between April and June, when almost all schools and colleges are closed for vacation.

Blood banks and hospitals say that conducting camps in private firms during summer vacation has become necessary since the demand for blood on a daily basis has increased manifold.

“Students usually participate in large numbers and donate around 500-600 units of blood from each university, which adds up to our blood bank significantly. But these days, we are conducting blood donation camps in collaboration with IT companies to make up for the amount of blood schools and colleges contribute,” Vasanthamani, Medical Officer at the Kilpauk Medical College, told Deccan Chronicle.

In case of shortage, hospitals and blood banks depend on volunteers and donor list and the amount of blood collected reduces to almost half during summer vacation.

“We could easily arrange 600-700 units of blood with NSS and NCC coordinating with us, but for the current month, we only collected 250 units,” Kalaiselvan of the Red Cross Society in Chennai said. “To tackle this situation, we have to conduct blood donation camps on our own and motivate people to donate blood,” he added.

An official from Lions Blood Bank said: “We maintain a list of 200-300 people in our donor list. We call up the volunteers in case of emergency requirements of blood. However, during the other part of the year, NSS and NCC blood donation camps never leave the blood banks dry.”

Officials with the blood banks and hospitals are hopeful that they would not run out of blood during emergency situations. They also cited the quick response that they get from users of social media when a message wanting for blood is shared.

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