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June 15, 2016

Around 40,000 blood pints given to patients at PIMS in one year

Islamabad

June 15, 2016

Awareness needed to raise regular donations by voluntary unpaid donors; whatever be the degree of development of a health care system,

blood transfusion is the only option for survival for many patients

Islamabad

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences provided well over 40,000 blood pints to patients in last one year while collected around 41,000 blood bags through donation or from relatives and friends of the patients in need of blood transfusion at the hospital.

Of the total 41,000 blood pints collected by the PIMS, nearly 25,000 blood bags were given to thalassaemia patients without any donation from them, said Deputy Director at PIMS Dr. Waseem Ahmed Khawaja while talking to ‘The News’ in connection with World Blood Donor Day observed on June 14 (yesterday) around the globe.

He said most of the blood bags were collected from relatives and friends of the patients admitted to the hospital while a good number of blood pints were donated by voluntary unpaid donors.

He added the Blood Bank at PIMS is equipped with latest machinery and state of art equipment is used for extracting platelets, fresh frozen plasma. Most of the patients who were transfused blood at PIMS in last one year were those suffering from various kinds of cancers, hepatitis, thalasaemia and the patients with burn injuries and female patients admitted to the hospital for delivery cases, said Dr. Khawaja.

It is important that there are three types of blood donors: voluntary unpaid, family/replacement and paid donors. Family or replacement donors and paid donors still remain a significant source of blood for transfusion in many counties including Pakistan.

Currently, an estimated 88 per cent of the blood is being donated by family members.

What we need is to have more regular blood donations every year from voluntary unpaid donors to facilitate thousands of more patients particularly those suffering from thalassaemia, said Dr. Khawaja.

He said people should be made aware of the fact through media that whatever be the degree of development of a health care system, blood transfusion is the only option for survival for many patients. Every second, someone in the world needs blood. One donated unit of whole blood can save up to three lives as preparation of components from this includes red cells, plasma and platelets, he said.

He said the blood collected in public sector hospitals is mainly used for patients of thalassaemia, hemophilia, anemia, cancer, kidney failure, dialysis, liver failure in hepatitis C and for cases of bleeding after child birth, cardiac bypass, surgery and heavy bleeding in emergencies and road traffic accidents.

He said adequate stocks of safe blood can only be assured by regular donation by voluntary unpaid blood donors, because the prevalence of blood borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and C is lowest among these donors.

Dr. Khawaja said the best way to guarantee a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products for transfusion is to have a good supply of regular donations by voluntary unpaid donors. More voluntary blood donors are needed to meet the increasing needs and to improve access to this life-saving therapy, he said.

Studies reveal that around 92 million units of blood are donated every year around the globe. There is a marked difference in the level of access to safe blood between low and high-income countries. 50% of all blood donations are collected in developed countries, home to 15% of world’s population. Average blood donation rate is 11 times higher in developed countries than in developing countries.

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