The Blood on Call scheme also known as Jeevan Amrut Service will soon have nine new blood centres in Mumbai. Sanjay Kumar Jadhav, Assistant Director, State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC), elaborates on the scheme and the blood transfusion scenario in Maharashtra. In conversation with Nikita Narvekar, Elets News Network (ENN)
Could you please tell us more about the Blood on Call service?
The scheme aims to provide blood and blood components on phone call by transporting blood by motorcycle through cold chain box from district hospital to the nursing homes and dispensaries within the reach of one hour.
The pilot project was launched at District Hospital, Satara in 2013 followed by the second project in Sindhudurga district. Following the success of both, the scheme was launched in Mumbai on January 7 this year and is being implemented successfully.
A toll free number 104 has been provided and the call is received at a call centre set up in Pune and then diverted to respective blood bank. After, the availability of blood is checked, due checks are held and the blood sample is cross matched by technicians and only then the blood is transported to the required place.
The nursing homes or hospitals have to register their names with the District Hospitals for availing the facility.
What was the thought process behind the scheme?
Whenever there is a need of transfusion on blood or blood component to the patients, the relatives have to search the addresses of blood banks and face a lot of inconvenience in getting the blood.
It was to overcome this difficulty, that the scheme was started.
What has been the response to this scheme?
We have had tremendous response to the scheme. It has been implemented successfully and is gaining popularity. So far, 7572 calls have been received and a total 4774 blood bags have been issued. 870 hospitals and nursing homes have registered with us so far.
Are there any expansion plans for the scheme?
We will soon have nine blood centres- Dahanu, Vasai, ESIC Hospital Mulund, Bhabha Hospital Kurla, Shatabdi Hospital Kandivali, Railway Hospital Byculla, Bombay Port Trust Hospital, V N Desai Hospital San- tacruz and SDH Malwani. This will cover maximum areas in Mumbai.
What were the challenges faced while implementing the scheme?
Every initiative has its own hurdles. We did not have any difficulty as such and if there were any problems we overcame them all. Setting up agencies was difficult so we tied up with NGOs to make the scheme happen.
We recruited additional staff solely for the scheme. There are about 110 posts for doctors, technicians, social workers, etc.
What is the scenario for blood transfusion like in Maharastra?
Our state is much better in terms of blood transfusion. In 2013, 21,141 camps were held in state and 14.75 lakh units of blood were collected.
At present there are 309 registered and licensed blood banks in Maharashtra out of which 225 banks have component preparation facility and 88 blood banks have Apheresis facility. In this facility, specific blood component is collected from the donor with the help of Automatic Machine.
Sir JJ Mahanagar Blood center has prepared and distributed 3.48 lakh components to needy patients in last four years at a mere cost of `450.
What is the next phase for blood transfusion in the state?
Based on the success story of Sir JJ Mahanagar Blood center, the State Government has initiated measures to replicate a similar model at 10 Public Sector Regional Blood Banks at Thane, Ahmednagar, Pune, Nashik, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Chandranagar, Am- ravati, Parbhani and Satara.
Also, at present, New Mumbai does not have efficient blood bank to cater the need of the region. Hence we intend to establish a State of the Art blood centre with residential training facility.
Also, blood bank activities will be monitored by an online process called Haemovigilance. The data will comprise of details of blood from point of collection to transfusion to a patient and a pilot project ution for the same is under process at Mumbai.
Please tell us about technology implementations for Blood on Call.
We have a technology for rapid detection of haemoglobin called as micro-haemoque. Then we have initiated a technology to lessen the difficulties and time in grouping.
Then the manual process for blood banking has a scope for manual error. To eliminate that we have automation in blood banking, then we have started mobile blood donation so that a person does not have to go to distant camps to donate blood.
Then all our data is web enabled. So we have a lot of technologies being used for all our processes.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare felicitated the state on June 14 on the occasion of the world blood donor day for providing excellent blood donation facilities. State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) is the only body in India which met the mandated target of one per cent of a states population donating blood.