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Nod to regional blood bank

Burdwan, Oct. 4: The state health department has decided to decentralise the Central Blood Bank to improve the supply of blood and provide better facilities to medical students. The work will be done in phases.

The government has already finalised the decision to set up a regional blood bank at Burdwan Medical College, which will control blood banks at Hooghly, East and West Midnapore, Bankura, Purulia and Birbhum districts.

The National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) is providing Rs 50 lakh for setting up the regional blood bank.

The government also plans to have a similar regional bank for the north Bengal districts once work for the one in Burdwan is complete.

Health department officials feel that it will be possible to increase the supply of blood in this manner. Only 65 per cent of the three lakh units of blood needed every year is actually available.

“Haematology students of medical college have to go to the Central Blood Bank, also known as the Institute of Blood Transfusion and Haematology, to get themselves trained in this field. Now, we want to expand the scope of training in blood collection, transfusion and so on,” said C.R. Maity, the state director of medical education.

At present, there are 96 blood banks under the Central Blood Bank, 58 of which are under the state government.

The health department will also install a blood component separator in the existing blood bank at Burdwan Medical College. An equipment worth Rs 30 lakh was provided by the Naco, but it has been lying idle for more than two years now. Two physicians were even trained to operate it.

The blood component separator can separate blood into plasma, platelets and blood concentrate — which can then be used separately, according to necessity.

“One unit of blood can be separated into four forms and then given to four different patients. This not only means less wastage, but also more blood availability,” Maity added.

The government plans to install the machine at Burdwan Medical College.

The hospital’s principal Ashish Bhowmick, the Central Blood Bank director and Burdwan zilla parishad sabhadhipati Uday Sarkar have already discussed the matter.

“We haven’t been able to install the instrument due to lack of space and money. But the matter has been decided in Thursday’s meeting. We will provide 500 sq. ft of space and Burdwan zilla parishad will provide some of the funds. The work will begin in a few months,” Sarit Chowdhury, the superintendent of Burdwan Medical College, said.

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