Managing Bombay blood group requests – how does the team do it?

One would often wonder how Sankalp’s emergency team manages to handle a multitude of request of Bombay blood group day after day.

Just within June the organisation got 19 blood requests for Bombay group patients. These were requests for 34 units of blood with 26 requests indicating the need for immediate transfusion.

All the requests were attended to and addressed and yet we could manage all that with only about 8 donations. Here we share the experience summarised by our team for a brief period of 10 days within the month of June. This gives insight into how much work, planning and management goes into ensuring that each patient is kept safe in-spite of the very few donors and available units.

BombayBloodGroup.Org tracks all the blood units reported by blood banks, either which were donated for some other patient who no longer needs them or the units which were collected without prior knowledge that they are Bombay blood group. When there is a request for units, the team explores the option to move the units which are available on the shelf under temperature controlled condition first, before exploring the option to get the units donated. In June, within 10 days the following is the list of blood units which were moved around coordinated by the organisation:

  1. One unit which was collected from voluntary walk-in blood donor in Hosapete was moved to Davanagere
  2. One unit available in Ramnagara was moved for a patient in Mysore
  3. Two units were shifted from Bangalore to Hyderabad
  4. One more units was moved from Hosapete to Hyderabad

Beside finding the units off the shelf, when units were not available we got the donations done. Within 10 days we had

  1. Two donation in Bangalore
  2. Two donation in Durg-Chattisgarh
  3. One donation in Hyderabad

The team still had several open blood requests and the knowledge of one unit being available on the shelf in Mangalore.

There is a fine balance to be kept between having enough blood for patients and ensuring that the units available on shelf don’t go waste. Additionally, the known Bombay blood group donors need to be guarded against emotional blackmail and undue stress oriented towards coercing them to donate blood. The team managing Bombay blood group requests puts in effort to ensure this fine balance is not disturbed.
 We thank all the blood donors and the involved blood banks who walk the extra mile to ensure that Bombay blood group continues to be available for each patient in need.

Sankalp Unit
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