Midnapore, March 8: Blood banks in the sub-divisions of West Midnapore district are lying defunct for want of facilities to test samples of the blood to be stored for infectious diseases like AIDS and hepatitis.
The only supply available in the district for emergency needs is in the hospital in Kharagpur, where just 42 units of blood are left.
Sources in the Kharagpur blood bank said repeated requests to Calcutta’s central blood bank to send kits to test donated and collected blood have met with no response. As a result, the repositories have been forced not to take in fresh blood for the past several weeks.
“We are turning back people with donor cards as we have nothing to offer. Our hands are tied due to a lack of kits and equipment to carry out the serological tests,” a district health department official said. The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for every registered blood bank to test samples for certain diseases before handing them over to hospitals or individuals for use.
“We have come to know that the National Aids Control Organisation has been unable to supply these testing kits to the central blood bank and hence the crisis,” said West Midnapore chief medical officer Mangobinda Mondal.
The worst affected were thalassaemia patients who need regular blood transfusions. “They are coming repeatedly with donors to the blood banks but are being turned away as there is no way we can test the blood for fatal infections,” Mondal said.
With a major National Highway running through the district, serious road accidents were frequent and, in most cases, there is an urgent need for blood to save the victims’ lives.
Woman commits suicide with son
A woman committed suicide with her two-and-a-half-year-old son by jumping out of a train as it was entering Chinsurah station in Hooghly around 9.30 pm on Saturday, police said.