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RIMS blood bank set for major upgrade

Ranchi, Jan. 13: The Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences blood bank, that is a reliable resource point for patients from across the state, is now set for a major upgrade with a team of drug controllers visiting its laboratory today to oversee equipment prior to giving a final go-ahead.

The upgrade will see various improvements, namely the provision to separate three components of blood from one sample — packed red blood cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma. This means that three patients could benefit from one single donation, making RIMS the first state-run institute here to offer such facilities.

R.K. Srivastava, in-charge of the RIMS blood bank, said the drug controllers needed to visit the institute and inspect its potential before issuing a final authorisation to start the facility.

The Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) team comprised a drug inspector, Rubina Bose, an expert from Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), Upendra Kumar, and a local drug inspector, Surendra Prasad.

The team, which began inspections around 10 am, took a look at the equipment and checked on the levels of skill of all lab technicians. The drill continued till late evening. It is now scheduled to present a report to its parent organisation.

Srivastava is hopeful. "If and when approved, RIMS will be the first government-run institute in the state to offer blood separation facility," he confirmed.

RIMS blood bank is already stocked with equipment like a Cryofuge to separate packed cells and deep freezers to keep plasma at temperatures between minus 40°C and minus 80° Celsius.

It also houses Cryo Bath for providing a cold bath to the component, Plasma Thombing Bath, Cell Counter, Laminar Flow that ensures 100 per cent clean air during the process of separation and Platelets Agitator that stores platelet concentrates in continues motion at controlled temperatures.

K.K. Singh, who will look after the separation work with the help of technicians Mahendra Prasad and Rajiv Ranjan, has been working very hard to ensure the laboratory was in good shape before today's visit by drug controllers. "The equipment, which will be used for blood separation, cost over a crore and it is a big achievement for us to have them in our blood bank," he told The Telegraph.

Singh explained the separation facility will help stop misuse and wastage of blood. "Now people requiring platelets will be provided only platelets and will not be supplied red blood cells and plasma as is the existing practice. This will ensure proper use of each component of blood," he said.

As of now, RIMS blood bank can store 500 units of blood at a time and provides blood — in lieu of a voluntary blood donation — free of cost to patients admitted there. At times, it also provides blood for other hospitals on demand charging a processing fee of Rs 350 per unit.

The blood bank is run by a team of 10 technicians, five trainee technicians, two nurses, seven attendants, apart from the three doctors who include Srivastava, the in-charge. It also has a psychologist who counsels visitors about the advantages of blood donation and restricts entry of professional donors.


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