The Covid-19 scare and the closure of IT offices and colleges have hit blood collection drives.
Photo by A Shiva
The Red Cross blood bank at Vidya Nagar in Hyderabad is open 24×7, but Dr K. Pitchi Reddy who runs the facility is anxious because blood plasma supplies are running low. He has to source at least 400 units in the second half of March for about 400 children afflicted by thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder. The decreased haemoglobin in the body has to be replenished through transfusion once a fortnight in the most severe cases and normally the blood bank is good for it. Now, the wait is becoming longer, and at times it has dangerous consequences.
Every month, 800 of the 1,400 units we collect from donors go to the children. With just 600 units gathered so far in March, we are in a bind. We have to provide for the children and also for life-threatening emergencies at government hospitals. The lockdown of engineering colleges, IT companies, gyms and fitness centres has deprived us of our primary donors, says Reddy. Hopes are now pinned on the armed forces and other uniformed forces to come to the rescue as donors.