Pune: The Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial (YCM) hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad is staring at a shortage of plasma kits in its blood bank. The blood bank is now left with only 18 kits whereas the demand is for 500 such kits. Not only the plasma recipients are suffering but the donors to are, as there is only one automated plasma apheresis machine at the blood bank due to which donors have to spend an entire day to donate plasma.
Pimpri-Chinchwad city is in dire need of plasma kits. Two months ago, the price of a plasma kit was Rs 8500. It has now gone up to Rs 11000. Kits also seem to have become expensive. Plasma kits can be stored in the blood bank. Ten days ago, only two to three kits were left in the blood bank. Initially, there was no shortage of kits, but due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, the stock of these kits in the blood bank has now depleted. Currently, it is difficult to get a donor of the same blood type in stipulated time. Therefore, the relatives of the patients have to rush at the last moment. Thus relatives fear that they will have to wait for more for the kits to arrive.
The Directorate of Medical Education has ordered a charge Rs 7,000 for a plasma kit from private hospitals. However, the corporation has not yet authorized government blood banks to charge such high rates. We have conveyed this to the YCM hospital administration.
Blood Bank Chief Tushar Patil said, "The government blood bank can use the funds. Last year we had ordered only a hundred kits as there was less demand. However, now due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we may require more kits at any time of the day. There is a demand for five hundred kits currently of which 150 kits have arrived."
Only one automated plasma apheresis machine at the blood bank
There is only one automated machine of plasmapheresis in the blood bank. Plasma cannot be donated by a patient unless the process for the earlier donor is completed. Therefore, the other donors have to wait at the blood bank all day long. It takes thirty to forty minutes to collect plasma from a donor. As a result, donors and plasma recipients are inconvenienced.
Mangesh Chitale, Assistant Commissioner, Stores Department said, "The plasma kit supply continues uninterrupted. Care is being taken to ensure that there is no shortfall of these kits. Additional kits will be available in the next three to four days."
Plasma Donations in Pimpri-Chinchwad
• Plasma donation per day: 7 to 8
• Plasma donation so far: 132
• Kits received in the first phase: 150
• Price of one kit: Rs 11,338
• Remaining Kits: 18