Indian blood banks wasted over 28 lakh units of blood, blood components in five years

A report has pointed out that over 28 lakh units of blood and its components were wasted in five years by blood banks across India.

India, with a population of 1.2 billion people, required 12 million units of blood annually, however, only nine million units were collected every year and the country faced a blood shortage of three million units. It added that NCR alone faced a shortage of 1,00,000 units per year.

According to The Times of India report, the cumulative wastage of 6 per cent translated to over 6 lakh litres.

According to the report, lack of coordination between blood banks and hospitals had resulted in wastage of blood, including red blood cells and plasma as the life-saving components could not be used before their expiry date, the report said.

Blood was composed or four main components - plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets each serving different functions.

Red blood cells were the most needed blood component, transporting oxygen through the body, while plasma, the liquid portion of blood transported red blood cells, platelets, and other cells within the bloodstream.

Plasma donations could be frozen for up to one year prior to their transfusion into recipients, while platelets were crucial to prevent or stop bleeding.