Blood screening with 'NAT' saves 111 lives over a 70-month period
Press Release
Thursday, June 13, 2019 | 03:04 PM
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(Left to Right) Dr. Sandeep Sewlikar, Dr. Atul Kulkarni and Dr. Shravan Subramanyam.

Pune : Every year 14th June, marks World Blood Donors Day, to highlight and encourage voluntary and repeat blood donation to ensure quality of blood units donated, whilst impressing upon the need to use safe processes and technologies in blood screening to contain spread of Transfusion Transmitted Infections (TTIs).

To highlight the need to enable access to safer blood amongst patients, a roundtable was organized in the city at Jankalyan Blood Bank. The roundtable also discussed at length the need to build awareness on the significant burden on the health care system due to cost of treatment of 'TTIs', once contracted. A panel of experts including Dr. Atul Kulkarni, Director, Jankalyan Blood Bank, Dr. Shravan Subramanyam, Managing Director, Roche Diagnostics India and Dr. Sandeep Sewlikar, Head, Medical and Scientific Affairs, Roche Diagnostics India were addressing media to discuss safe blood transfusion.

According to a report on ‘Blood Safety in Maharashtra and Preventing Transfusion Transmitted Infections’, 'HBV' & 'HIV' prevalence in 'TTIs' amongst the donor population in Maharashtra is higher than the national average. The panel encouraged the need for voluntary blood donation as it is also a means of reducing/minimising the risk of 'TTIs'. The discussion also focused on the need for implementing advanced blood screening methods such as 'NAT' testing across blood banks in Maharashtra. India has approximately two thousand 500 blood banks, with only 2-3 percent of them offering 'NAT' testing. Many hospitals/ blood banks in the country and the State are yet to establish 'NAT' screening procedures.

Patients in India, which has a shortage of blood reserves for transfusion, are especially susceptible to such infections. During the discussion, 'NAT' was advised as it directly detects the genetic material (RNA & DNA) of the infecting organism or viruses like 'HIV', Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. According to Dr. Sewlikar, “It is the most sensitive technique for detection of infections in donated blood that is currently available across the world. So the window period a time between when a patient is infected and when tests show a positive result - is shortened. Considering the window period of detection is shorter for 'NAT', 'TTIs' could be reduced in recipients of 'NAT'-tested blood.”

Dr. Kulkarni said, “Blood transfusions are an essential component of emergency medical care. Adequate blood supply during emergencies requires a well-organised blood transfusion service, which can only be ensured with the collaboration of the entire community and with a donor population committed to voluntary unpaid donations throughout the year. Access to safe and quality blood is essential for every individual, if we are to provide comprehensive health care for all. At Jankalyan, we are honoured to have our records indicate that 111 lives could be saved from TTIs over a 70-month period on account of NAT testing.”

Dr. Subramanyam, said, “A prerequisite for the effective clinical use of blood is a well-organized blood transfusion service (BTS) that is able to provide blood and blood products that are safe and accessible, and optimum to meet national needs. At Roche, we recognise the need to enable access for patients in India to globally accepted 'NAT' testing, towards spread of 'TTIs', by detecting window period donations. Across the world, 20 percent of countries mandate 'NAT' testing. The power of diagnostics here is that it continues to protect us with a safe blood supply, allowing patients to focus on treating their other health conditions.”

Blood transfusion is an important aspect of patient management. Complications in blood transfusion can lead to 'TTIs' like 'HIV', Hepatitis B (HBV) & Hepatitis C (HCV) etc. further risking the life of the patient receiving blood.

(ही बातमी मराठीत वाचण्यासाठी येथे क्लिक करा.)
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