6,00,000 litres of blood discarded in 5 years in India
Statistics have indicated that over 28 lakh units of blood have been discarded by hospitals and blood banks in India due to poor storage and coordination logistics. By volume this adds up to 6 lakh litres of wasted blood and fluid. India faces a 3 million-unit shortfall in blood annually. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were the worst affected.
How are states faring?
Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been the worst, wasting blood, red blood cells as well as fresh frozen plasma. Maharashtra topped the chart with the highest whole-blood wastage, followed by West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. UP and Karnataka wasted the maximum amount of fresh frozen plasma. The data was provided by the National Aids Control Organization.
Why is this happening?
Critics argue that a lack of proper co-ordination in logistics between blood banks and hospitals has resulted in this loss. They add that blood donation camps organized in localities collect more blood than they can handle, leading to more wastage. However, blood transfers were allowed from last year, significantly reducing the wastage from then onwards.
The magnitude of the problem
While whole-blood and red blood cells made up half of the wastage, a major chunk of the wastage was from fresh frozen plasma. This is despite plasma having a shelf life of over a year unlike blood which has only 35 days.