COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Thalassaemic kids bear the brunt as blood donations dip

Only those who bring donor along get treatment at Rajindra Hospital

Thalassaemic kids bear the brunt as blood donations dip

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, September 21

Children suffering from thalassaemia are the new victims of the Covid-19 fallout. Reason: The acute shortage of blood for thalassaemia-affected kids, who require lifelong transfusions.

Regular recipients at Government Rajindra Hospital are now being denied treatment due to the shortage of blood. Thalassaemia is a genetic blood disorder and patients have to undergo a transfusion every two to five weeks.

Due to the pandemic, outdoor blood donation camps are not being held and voluntary donors are also not showing up at the hospital fearing infection.

An official of the blood bank at the hospital said: “Outdoor blood donations have been reduced by 90 per cent. Besides, the donors now fear coming to the hospital due to rumours that Covid test is required to donate blood, which is absolutely baseless.”

Around 240 children have been taking treatment at the hospital for thalassaemia and everyday, around 20 of them show up at the hospital. However, only those children, who bring blood donors along, are being given treatment.

Vijay Kumar Pawha, the father of a 15-year-old thalassaemic kid, said they had been facing a shortage of blood at the blood bank of the hospital. “Children with thalassaemia are running from pillar to post to get a donor because the blood bank issues blood only if a donor shows up. People are coming forward to organise langar for the poor and needy, but they should also come forward for blood donations.”

Ashok Kumar, father of a 14-year-old kid from Samana town of the district, said: “Sometimes, finding a blood donor becomes a Herculean task as people fear getting infected at the hospital. I urge people to come forward and help the children.”

Dr Ramesh Kundal, in-charge of the blood bank at Rajindra Hospital, said: “We are facing a shortage of blood owing to the fear of Covid. We are doing all we can to get blood donations.”

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