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Mumbai: Blood wastage at Rajawadi hospital increases to 11 per cent, RTI reveals

Updated on: 09 August,2022 08:52 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Suraj Pandey | suraj.pandey@mid-day.com

RTI reveals 47 per cent drop in collection at Rajawadi in 2021 as compared to 2017 while wastage stood at 11 per cent; experts cite unplanned blood collection camps as one of the major reasons

Mumbai: Blood wastage at Rajawadi hospital increases to 11 per cent, RTI reveals

Planned blood collection drives will prove beneficial to deal with shortage as well as wastage, said experts. File pic

Wastage of blood at Rajawadi hospital has seen a significant increase while blood collection is witnessing a dip. In 2017, there was only 0.56 per cent wastage of blood which increased to 11 per cent in 2021, as per an RTI response. Experts said unplanned camp as the major reason behind the same. 

An RTI query filed by activist Chetan Kothari has revealed that a total of 26 blood bags expired in 2017, which increased to 74 bags or 1.27 per cent of the total blood collected in 2018, 159 bags or 2 per cent of blood collection in 2019, 225 bags or 10.6 per cent of blood collected in 2020, and 292 bags 11 per cent of total blood collected in 2021. This includes both whole blood and packed red blood cells. 

Also read: 1 in every 10 units of blood expired at BMC-run hospital in 2 years, reveals RTI

The RTI response further showed that more packed red blood cells expired in 2021 whereas in 2020, more whole blood was wasted. In the past five years, 776 bags or 200 litres of blood went to waste. A source from the blood bank said the upper permissible limit of blood wastage is 2 per cent, which was breached in the past three years. 

Dr Vidya Thakur, superintendent of Rajawadi Hospital, said, “In 2020 and 2021, due to lockdown and restriction, there was a drop in both collection and demand. There were fewer accidents, hospitalisation for other diseases and surgeries were on the lower side too. That is the reason why the blood expired. I will speak to the blood bank authority to make sure no blood goes to waste.”

“One reason for the expiry is delay in testing the pooled blood. Vacancy of technicians in blood banks is also a reason for this. The hospital introduced 6 new Blood Bank Technician posts in 2019, but the posts have not been filled even after three years. Keeping in mind the importance of health centres especially in view of the Covid period, efforts should have been made to fill these posts as it has also affected blood collection,” said a source from the hospital’s blood bank.

He added, “In 2018, 5,805 blood bags were collected, which fell to 4,059 in 2019, and 2,117 in 2020. In 2021, there was a slight increase at 2,646 blood bags. Still, if we compare it to the 2017 collection figure, there is a 47 per cent drop.” 

Speaking on the breach of the upper permissible limit, Dr Arun Thorat, assistant director at State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC), said, “I don’t have the figures so it will be too early to comment, but if the number of expiry units is more than permissible then we will ask the hospital for the reason behind it. We always ask blood banks to first make a yearly plan and then conduct collection camps. Because of unplanned camps, there is an excess collection of blood than required and it expires. Every blood bank knows how much blood is required in a week or month. If we plan accordingly, expiry will be minimal and the shortage issue will also be resolved to a greater extent.” 

RTI activist Chetan Kothari said, “Collection of blood should be proportional to utility. This is the second time the blood bank is in the news for huge blood wastage. FDA had earlier cancelled the licence. At that time, the hospital got a stay from the ministry by saying they would take precautions in the future, but nothing has changed.”

Permissible limit of blood wastage in percentage

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