Indian blood donor selection guidelines: Review in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

K Das, M Raturi, N Agrawal, M Kala, A Kusum
Transfusion Clinique et Biologique: Journal de la Société Française de Transfusion Sanguine 2021 January 13
The National Blood Transfusion Services under the aegis of the ministry of health and family welfare, India has recently issued guidelines regarding the blood donor selection criteria and the processing of blood. Care has been taken to make the blood transfusions safer. However, COVID-19 has disrupted the organization of the voluntary blood donation drives, whole blood donations [WBD] and restricted the donors' movement to the blood transfusion centres all across the world. While sickness and the need for transfusions are very much in place, the gap of demand against blood collection has widened. Additionally, with the monsoon season at hand, and the categorical challenges of a dengue outbreak, the subsequent need for blood components especially the platelet concentrates is going to rise. Some of the criteria laid for deferring a blood donor from his or her WBD need a categorical revision, considering these unprecedented times. We, therefore, critically analyzed the blood donor selection criteria and hereby, suggest an updating regarding the pre-donation haemoglobin, sexually transmitted diseases, lactation, pregnancy and many such subheadings. We also suggest collecting smaller blood volumes in the blood bags for the optimal benefit of the recipients both for now and also as a measure of pandemic preparedness for future use.

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