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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-53

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and Subsequent Lockdown on Blood Transfusion Service in a Tertiary Healthcare Institute of South India – A Learning Experience

1 Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haematology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Transfusion Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vijay Kumawat
Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haematology, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_106_20

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Background and Objectives: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people all over the world and poses challenges to health-care services. Lockdown was first response strategy implemented by governments including India to prevent spread of coronavirus 2. The lockdown and anxiety among public had severely affected transfusion services. This paper analyses the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on blood transfusion services. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the transfusion services for 5 months was carried out. The data regarding blood collections, blood donation camps, blood issued, and therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) performed were collected and analyzed during 3 phases of the study period, i.e., phase 1 (pre-lockdown, 84 days), phase 2 (complete lockdown, 40 days), and phase 3 (partial lockdown, 28 days), and compared. Results: A significant drop (P = 0.010) was observed in blood donation from phase 1 to phase 2 but slight nonsignificant improvement was found from phase 2 to phase 3. The issue of blood was significantly reduced from phase 1 to phase 2 (P < 0.0001) and improved from phase 2 to phase 3 (P < 0.0049). There was a significant reduction (P < 0.00001 and 0.002) in patients referred for TPE during two phases of LD. Conclusion: There is significant decrease in blood supply and utilization due to pandemic and lockdown. An emergency blood management plan is required which can include donor education focusing to alleviate donor hesitation, relaxation to donor selection criteria, blood drive planning with inventory management and ensuring staff and product safety.

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