Posts tagged ‘blood banks’

The Whole Blood Story

Every time I hear an announcement on the radio or read a tweet ‘Urgently need units of a particular blood group, it scares me.  You too should be worried because if the blood hasn’t been tested for various infections like Hepatitis, HIV before transfusion then this life- saving process can prove to be dangerous.

Every authorized and registered blood bank has to conduct certain set of mandatory tests before blood can be issued. While most of you might be aware that blood is a carrier of many infections and can have immediate and long term affects. Did you know it’s mainly because of the White Blood Cells (WBC) contamination? And as per the Blood Safety Standards WBC content should be removed before transfusion.

Just like you would know a patient suffering from dengue may require transfusion of platelets, one of the blood components. In most cases, patients do not require whole blood. According to the International good clinical practices & National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), the blood should be separated into its various components (Packed red cell, platelets, granulocytes and CRYO- for hemophilic and coagulation protein deficiency).

Here is a check list to follow, share and keep in mind during emergency situations:

  • Procure the blood components from licensed and reputed blood banks only
  • Insist on blood component alternative rather than the whole blood
  • Insist on blood which has already been tested for safety, for e.g. NAT tested blood (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) helps in ruling out HIV, Hepatitis B and C at genetic level
  • Maintain ambient transportation conditions for blood or its components-please ask the blood bank for special boxes made for the purpose of transporting blood from the bank to hospital
  • Under no circumstance opt for paid for professional donation
  • Do not insist on fresh blood, as it means the blood has not been tested for various safety parameters

Always remember, most hospitals have tie-ups with blood banks and in case they do not have a particular group in stock they will assist you in procuring it. A patient can’t be refused blood transfusion if his guardians are unable to source donors of the same group. Most banks only need replacement of the units irrespective of the blood group of the donors.

Hospitals and Blood Banks charge you a fee for the blood components as every unit has to undergo a series of tests to make it ‘Near Zero Infection Free’

Must I add, blood donation can save lives and more importantly help many sick patients especially Thalesemic kids. All healthy individuals with hemoglobin of 11 + can volunteer to donate blood, do it do it even if you are scared of a prick.


November 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm 10 comments


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