Impact of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on Blood Transfusion Services in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital Blood Centre in South India
Introduction: Blood transfusion services (BTS) being an essential medical service should cater to the patient needs especially to those who are transfusion dependent. BTS faced numerous challenges to maintain the sustainability in service provision during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Our aim was to study the impact of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on blood transfusion services. Material and methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study was carried out in the department of transfusion medicine in a tertiary care teaching hospital blood centre in south India. Data on blood collection, blood issues, wastage and number of blood donation camps was evaluated before and after COVID-19 i.e. from January 2019 to December 2020. The data obtained was tabulated and results were noted. Data were analysed using SPSS software version 21 for Windows statistical software package (SPSS Inc., Chicago IL, USA). Results: There was a 52.4 % drop in blood donation, 54.5 % in blood component preparation, and 54.6% in blood issue during COVID-19. There was an increase in blood discard rate by 0.13% with double the rate of discards due to expiry of blood and blood components alone during COVID-19. Conclusion: COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on Blood transfusion services. Blood centres must make an emergency preparedness action plan to prepare and manage the blood supply during similar future threats based on the experience in this pandemic.