Sorting Units Defunct, Acute Platelet Shortage Hits MKCG

Berhampur: The MKCG Medical College and Hospital is facing an acute shortage of platelets, a component of blood, which is a critical requirement for patients suffering from illnesses such as dengue, leukaemia and haemophilia among others.
The two blood separation machines at the hospital’s blood bank are lying defunct for nearly a month, leading to the shortage of this critical blood component. “On an average, 20 patients require platelet infusion per day here,” a hospital source said.

The Odisha Blood Bank at the MKCG premises here can’t separate the platelets from fresh blood collected from donors as the two centrifuge machines stopped functioning on December 27 last year.

“Some patients are being referred to other hospitals, including SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, where the blood component devices are available,” said a senior doctor.

The department of transfusion medicine at the MKCG has written to the director, medical education and training (DMET), for shifting of two such machines from SCB to the blood bank here. “If these machines are shifted, the problem will be solved. We are waiting for their response,” said Rabi Kumar Mishra, the head of department of transfusion medicine at the MKCG.

Hospital sources said the state government had provided these two sophisticated centrifuge machines in 2008. A blood bank employee said after the machines went out of order on December 27, an expert was called to repair the units but it yielded no results.

Health activists here have demanded supply of a platelet apheresis device for the blood bank here. Such devices are available in two medical colleges at Burla and Cuttack.

“We demand that such a device is installed in the blood bank here at the earliest,” said Abani Kumar Gaya, convener, Manabika Adhikar Manch, an organisation fighting for betterment of health services in Berhampur.-Times Of India

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