The Telegraph
Thursday , September 13 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Donation drives keep blood bank stocks full

- No scarcity in Jamshedpur as series of camps are organised by corporate firms, NGOs

If you need the help of Jamshedpur Blood Bank to organise a donation camp anytime soon, chances are you will be told to wait till next year as the camp calendar of the bank is almost full till January 2013.

A steady stream of people willing to donate blood has resulted in healthy collection this year. Jamshedpur Blood Bank, which caters to more than 75 hospitals and nursing homes in Kolhan region comprising three districts, is now accepting requests to organise donation drives for May 2013.

However, the picture was not always so rosy. Three years ago, Jamshedpur Blood Bank ran short of stocks in summer as donors and camp organisers stayed away.

This year, there is virtually no shortage. With members of corporate houses and social organisations coming forward to donate blood even in the scorching heat, stocks never ran dry.

“Camps in summer are generally fewer because people stay indoors, but this year the problem was not acute. Organisations put up a number of blood donation camps throughout and saved us, and needy patients. Now, we don’t have dates till January. The response has been overwhelming,” said Rajnish Kumar, co-ordinator of Jamshedpur Blood Bank.

Thirty-five camps have been lined up for September followed by 26 in October, 28 in November, 25 in December and 23 in January. As of now, February already has five bookings, eight in March, four in April and one in May.

Jamshedpur Blood Bank normally collects around 150 units per day against a daily requisition of 120-130 units. This year, the average number of monthly camps has been between 20 and 25 against 14 or 15 earlier. At any given time, the blood bank has 1,200 to 1,300 units ready and caters to about 130 patients daily.

The blood bank also supplies to 500 thalassemic and cancer patients without any replacement. The maximum number of donors — about 80 per cent — are from the O+ and B+ groups. The negative blood group donors are less, but demand for them is less too.

“Initially we used to go door to door to motivate people to donate blood and break the taboos associated with it. About three years ago, the total blood collection in Kolhan was 14,000 units, while in 2011-2012, we collected 21,000 units,” said S.K. Singh, general secretary of Voluntary Blood Donor's Association, which has been in existence for the last 25 years.

The Indian Red Cross Society too said the blood donation had gone up by 25 to 30 per cent in the region compared to three years ago. “The response, especially from the youth, has been immense. We collect about 10,000 units now,” said V.K. Singh, secretary, Indian Red Cross Society, East Singhbhum.

The other blood bank in the steel city, MGM, stocks about 100 units at any given time.

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