Maharashtra FDA: Guidelines issued for blood donation camps in state due to COVID-19

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Due to Covid-19 pandemic, demand in blood donation was decreased in state and as per the guidelines issued by National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC), The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidelines for blood donation camps to 341 registered blood banks.

Guidelines have been issued by the Maharashtra FDA Commissioner Arun Unhale on the basis of a meeting of Maharashtra FDA Minister Rajendra Shinde and FDA officials with representatives of blood banks from Mumbai and Konkan divisions.
For implementing the guidelines, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope and Maharashtra FDA Minister Rajendra Shinde have also appealed to the public to donate the bloock and help in the situation of COVID-19.

According to the guidelines, mask must be weared by the blood donor during the blood donation. 100 donors are bnot allowed at a time in the camp. The distance between two beds in the camp should be at least one meter. There must be a bottle of sanitiser at the entrance of the camp and other required safety measures must be taken at the blood donation centres for the prevention and peronal protection.

J B Mantri, joint commissioner (HQ), Maharashtra FDA and state drug controlling authority said that “Based on the meetings between FDA and the blood banks to ensure consistent supply of blood, Maharashtra FDA has urged blood banks to adopt the provision for sharing technical staff and suggested blood banks for internal blood exchange policy to address any kind of demand arising out of COVID-19 scenario.”

An interim guidelien was issued by NBTC and Union health ministry earlier for compliance of social distancing and infection control practices. They also directed blood banks to promote blood donations from healthy individuals and ensure consistent supply of safe blood in compliance with social distancing norms, infection control guidelines and biomedical waste disposal rules.

Measures also include voluntary donors for smooth movement and donors donating blood be given special certificates at this critical time.
Maharashtra has a requirement of 30,000 blood units on monthly basis.

Updation of adequate stock of bloood during emergencies have also been directed to State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC). For implementing the plan, union health ministry and SBTC have directed the blood banks to manage the stock and supply of blood through its online portal named e-Rakt Kosh.

e- Rakt Kosh will help in enforcing of Drug and Cosmetics (D&C) Act, National Blood Policy Standards and Guidelines ensuring proper collection, donation, effective management and monitoring the quality and quantity of the donated blood.

e-Rakt Kosh tracks blood stock of numerous blood banks and has a centralised blood inventory management system . It is also equipped with a bio-medical waste management system for disposal of discarded blood and other waste generated during this process. This online portal will also help in for generating rare blood group donor registries that will help in generating regular repeat donors besides having alert and notification system.

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