Mumbai's blood banks are running dry. Several reasons are being given for this. From an all pervading festival mood to vacations, where a lot of people are travelling, and colleges are shut. Due to which, fewer blood camps are being organised, so there is a drop of 80% in the blood collection.
The worst hit are rare blood groups like B negative, which is running thin all across the city. The crunch has led to surgeries being postponed. A Ghatkopar resident is waiting to be operated for a thigh bone fracture.
There are others too, senior citizens amongst them, who are unable to get complete treatment as they are awaiting blood. The wait is excruciating for both patients and relatives, who are repeatedly turned away by the hospitals.
A person in charge of a federation of the city’s blood banks said there is a tendency for patients and families to demand blood immediately. However, they don’t show the alacrity when it comes to blood donation.
Without pressing any panic buttons, one needs to ask if the city is prepared to meet challenges of any unforeseen disaster, which could require huge quantities of blood at any given point of time.
The second concern is about the attitude of the people, which needs to be more empathetic and sympathetic. We already see an uptick in awareness for organ pledging. The campaigns have worked to an extent and slowly, but surely awareness is growing.
Mumbai, whatever one may say, does have a heart. This can be seen in the queues of blood donors outside hospitals, when the city is in dire need. One remembers this post the 26/11 terror attacks, when Mumbaikars were lining up to donate blood at the hospitals treating the victims.
What we need is consistency and persistence. More celebrities need to talk about the need for blood donation — which will surely lead to a spike in awareness. Blood banks may have run dry, but do not lose heart in Mumbai, which has proved it has the will to give and let live. Let’s make this our credo and go forth and give.