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City reeling under severe blood shortage

DNIS News Network -- New Delhi's medical institutions are suffering from a severe shortage of blood and the city's 2,000 thalassaemics are expected to be worst affected by the crisis.

According to Dr J.S. Arora, General Secretary, Thalassaemia Welfare Society, "The annual blood requirement of the city is about 3 lakh units per annum. During the summer months the supply dips to such an extent that thalassaemics often have to cope with as little as half of their required amount.

"This leads to haemoglobin levels dipping to 8-9, giving rise to a vicious circle of infections and further loss of haemoglobin."

Dr Arora added that the shortage was fairly uniform in all the regional blood transfusion centres catering especially for thalassaemics. These centres are located at hospitals throughout Delhi, including AIIMS, Guru Tegh Bahadur, Hindu Rao, Ram Manohar Lohia and Safdurjung hospitals.

According to officials at the various blood banks, the major shortage of blood is experienced during these months due to the closure of colleges and educational institutions, which makes it difficult to set up blood donation camps. Another reason cited is the lethargy among donors because of the heat and recurrent summer infections making potential donors clinically unable to donate.

Dr Kavita Chatterjee who is in charge of the blood bank at AIIMS, said: "There is always a blood shortage from August to April."

Willing donors should contact their local hospitals directly.