News ID: 198533
Published: 0728 GMT August 13, 2017

Blood donation must be voluntary

Blood donation must be voluntary

The India’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued notices to all public and private hospitals’ blood banks in Mumbai, directing them not to insist on seeking replacement blood from the relatives of a patient needing blood but accept it if the same is done on a voluntary basis.

The notice made it clear that the responsibility of arranging blood for any surgery or procedure lies solely with the hospital and blood banks. Replacement blood donation refers to the blood donated by a patient’s relatives/friends to restore the units utilized for the patient, according to

The National Blood Policy formulated in 2002 states that no hospital should depend on replacement donors. The policy said that replacement blood donation should be gradually phased out.

Talking to The Asian Age, a senior FDA officer said, “There is no such compulsion to get blood through replacement donation, norms are clear, which mention the blood donation should be voluntary, not on replacement basis.”

When asked about the notices, the officer said, “Yes, we have asked all the details about their analysis of blood collection data, and the percentage of voluntary blood donation and replacement of blood donation.”

Responding to a Right To Information (RTI) query filed by activist Chetan Kothari, Maharashtra State Blood Transfusion Council said that in the past five years in Maharashtra, 100,000 units of blood have been collected through replacement donation. It said that in the year 2016-17, more than 30,000 units of blood were collected, out of which only three percent of the blood collected was through replacement donation.

However, lack of blood transfusion officers to segregate the blood according to blood groups and infected blood in given time, results in wastage of blood, the reply said.

Kothari said, “The collection and storage of blood should be done in a proper manner.”

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