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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 163-168

An insight into the encountered challenges and performances of a hospital-based blood transfusion service in Eastern India in the light of COVID-19 pandemic


Department of Transfusion Medicine, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudipta Sekhar Das
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_77_20

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Background: Every pandemic elaborates its own challenges that should be managed meticulously through proper initiative and planning, following existing guidelines and through population education. We encountered various challenges in our blood center which significantly affected the blood inventory and blood supply. Here, we share our experiences of managing blood donations, blood inventory, staff adequacy, and blood wastages in the light of COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: The retrospective study was performed from January 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, that included major activities in a blood center. The initial 3 and later 3 months were considered as the pre-COVID and COVID periods, respectively. Data related to various affected parameters were retrieved, analyzed, and compared with the pre-COVID period. Results: The drop in blood donation, blood component preparation, and blood issue in the COVID-period was observed to be 51.2%, 49.1%, and 49.8%, respectively. Mean total blood donation time and turnaround time of blood issue in the COVID period were found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05). The COVID period observed increase wastages of blood components (P = 0.007). The mean number of staff per day in the COVID period was 9.67 as compared to 18.3 staff in the pre-COVID period (P = 0.040). The mean work time per staff per day in the COVID period was calculated to be 10.77 h (P = 0.029). The major causes of failure to donate blood were fear of COVID infection and lack of transportation. Conclusions: All blood centers including ours have observed an acute reduction in blood donation and blood transfusion. All centers should collectively follow set guidelines and develop plan strategically to respond to the challenges generated in this pandemic. Moreover, blood transfusion should be more rationalized and the practice of first in, first out method should be followed to prevent blood wastages.


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