News and Updated for March 2016

Here are the events and updates from the month of March.

Rakta Kranti: The Blood Revolution

The blood donation drives front started getting a little busier with preparation for the large number of drives coming up in the months of April to June. The team spent time and effort in talking to multiple organizations and getting commitments to organize blood donation drives in the upcoming months. Assessment of our preparations on the resource and man power front was also made.

"In the month of March 11 blood donation drives were organized leading to a collection of 806 units of blood with a deferral rate of 17.86% and a complication rate of 3.72%.

Higher rate of deferrals was attributed to the summer conditions in most drives and this is an area where some active thought is being put in the upcoming drives in April-June. The non-compliance stood at 1.8 instances per drive which again was slightly on the higher side and needs rectification.

2 college based drives at JSS Dharwad and JNCASR, Bangalore saw enthusiastic young donors turn up in good numbers. 89 and 83 units were collected in them and most students loved the fact that they contributed in the time of real need of blood. We had 2 public drives at Star bazaar and Lake Vihar apartments leading to a collection 38 and 17 units respectively. A 2 day camp at ITPB, one of our most trusted and helpful organizations added 190 units of blood to the city. Volunteers spent effort on publicity throughout the day and this ensured a good turnout in the camp. A camp was organized at TCE on account of the birth anniversary of Sri Jamshedji Tata. 61 units were collected in this drive. Drives were also organized at HSBC and Icon Clinical Research with a collection of 47 and 77 units respectively. The biggest highlight of the month was the blood donation drive at Prestige Shantiniketan campus organised on account of Women's Day by AIG. Throughout the day there was a huge line of donors waiting patiently to make the event a grand success. 246 donors turned up and 204 units of blood were collected.

We sincerely thank the management of Ascendas, Applied Materials, JNCASR, JSS College, HSBC, Icon, AIG, TCE, Lake Vihar and Star Bazaar for their support to the cause of voluntary blood donation.

Thalassemia Management and Care

The month of March again had a higher number of transfusions thanks to the good availability of blood and as a consequence of fewer transfusions from February. A birds eye view of the essential data associated with management of thalassemia can be seen in the table.

At Samraksha, significant change in the month of March 2016 when it comes to Thalassemia management and care was that the median dose of chelators has increased to about 36 mg/kg/day for Deferasirox. Considering the fact that several children who are less than 2 years and who may not have had enough transfusions to start chelation therapy, it literally means that every child is getting almost the top dose of oral chelation therapy. IGICH did not lag far behind in this context and we have about 30 mg/kg/day dose of oral chelators for children undertaking management there.

The summer months are coming and several of the kids will have holidays. We plan to make use of this opportunity to give intense iron chelation therapy to those children who have more than 4000 ng/dl ferritin.

We are also working upon the extensive data that is available to us on ThalCare to provide a single indicator which quantifies the quality of thalassemia management for any child. using the statistical technique of multiple regression modeling we are evaluating the relative weight of each parameter of care and evolving a scoring scheme. This mechanism will assume greater importance as we expand our program to less resourceful centers across the country.

Emergency Team and Blood Help-line

We had just about 391 blood requests in the month of March but what was interesting to note is the fact that they came from 22 different districts of the state of Karnataka. Bangalore, Mysore, Dharwad and Davangere topped the list of districts from where we received these requests. It comes as no surprise that the calls were fewer since March is usually the time of plenty in blood banks. Every third blood request was for one of the negative blood groups. A steep fall in demand for platelets has been observed in February-March reflecting the relatively low impact of viral fevers at this time of the year.

The emergency team was kept busy with 5 Bombay blood group requests. There was a total demand of 13 units. We got 4 donations done and organised another 4 units of blood. Bombay blood group requests are coming to the organisation from all parts of the country. the good news continues to be the fact that there is much better reporting of any Bombay blood group units which the blood banks may have on their shelves across the southern states.

Thalassemia Cure

It’s been a year since we signed an MOU with People Tree Hospitals to start the BMT program. Last year has truly revolutionized the access to transplantation to the poorest of poor patients. We have helped screen hundreds of families across the nation to identify the candidates who are likely to benefit from transplantations.

With the mechanisms to deliver reliable transplantations to the poorest of poor patients in place, we are looking forward to add capacity. Tens of thousands of patients await these transplants across the country. True success for us will be the adoption of the model that we have created and proved throughout the nation.

On the other side, we have a vast amount of very high quality medical data available to us which we are in the process of analyzing and summarizing. Over next few months we will be making multiple submissions to various journals across the world. In-line with our commitment to share knowledge that we acquire, we seek to build bridges of knowledge for one and all.

Sankalp Unit
Patrika Section