1 million blood units discarded in India every year

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Indian health ministry data proved that despite the shortage of Blood units, our country discarding over a million units of blood collected every year. An estimated annual requirement of blood units in our country is 10-12 million units per year and 9.9 million units are collected annually.

There are several reasons to discard blood units which includes deterioration during storage and validity expiration. Plasma units are the largest chunk of the wasted units and that could be used in numerous life-saving treatments. World Health Organisation clearly stated that one unit of blood(450 ml) has a power to save at least three lives at a time.

Open heart surgery on an average required six units of blood and road accident victims could require up to 100 units as per health conditions. According to WHO reports blood is required for one out of 10 people admitted to a hospital.

During Lok Sabha sessions, when MLA’s asked for a response about the health ministry data regarding blood units and in a response reasons shared by the health ministry are infected blood due to malaria, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and validity, especially for platelets, that can store only 5 days. And except them, there are other reasons like during storage deterioration in the form of discoloration, hemolysis, and bacterial contamination. And blood units are not meeting quality parameters after collection and production and non-completion of blood collection in requisite quantities due to donor reactions.

Health Ministry said in the Lok Sabha that our country does not have a National Blood Transfusion Service since public health is a state subject, state blood transfusion councils are set up in every state to monitor proper functioning of blood transfusion services.

Only 1% of country’s population blood donation is sufficient to meet the blood requirements of the country, according to the WHO. Plenty of blood units are required only in the cases of major accidents or after surgeries, after a miscarriage or during childbirth, the patient may need a transfusion of a large amount of blood for saving her life or the child.

Blood units are also required for the patients with blood diseases like severe anemias, leukemias (blood cancer), hemophilia (bleeding disorder) and thalassemia, repeated blood transfusions are the only solution.

Reports state that an estimated 9.5 million Indians donates blood, which is 2.5 to 3 million less than the required number and more than 2,87000 women die every year during pregnancy, childbirth or in the postpartum period – 99% of them in developing countries; availability of safe blood can save many of them, according to the world health organisation.

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