Health ministry is scheduled to meet the Project Directors of respective state AIDS control societies in the first week of April to take stock of the blood component separation facilities in the country with the objective of ensuring consistent availability of blood and blood components to the common man.
There are over 2760 blood banks across the country. Nearly 80 per cent of the blood collected is transfused as whole blood. One practical way of using blood effectively is to separate its various components into red blood concentrates, fresh frozen plasma, cryo-precipitates and platelet concentrates, according to a health official. There are other advantages of separation, such as the extended shelf life of components.
As a part to enhance the capacities, government also plans to monitor 1163 component separation facilities in the country on a monthly basis to promote rational use of blood and its availability.
The concept of component separation needs to be embraced as blood availability through voluntary donation is increasing. There has been an increase in voluntary blood donation from 38 to 95 per cent between 1997 to 2014. Blood collection has increased from 3. 6 lakh units in 1997 to 14.76 lakh units in 2014 through a six fold increase in blood donation camps in Maharashtra alone. Components are to be separated from blood within six hours. Plasma separated from blood can be further fractionated to produce many useful life-saving components such as factor VIII, fibrinogen, albumin and gamma globulin.