The number of total dengue cases has climbed up to 1939 in Patna this year, including 95 on Sunday alone, from 1,076 in September-end. Everyday, around 120-150 patients are diagnosed with dengue at government health facilities across the city. The daily requirement for the random donor platelet (RDP) has increased to 400-500 units and 20-30 units for single donor platelet (SDP) per day.
The officials of the blood banks, however, claimed that they are able to provide platelets only when the attendants of the patients arranged the donors. Rita Sinha, the owner of a private blood bank a Kadamkuan, said that the availability of platelets has become nil in the last couple of weeks.
“Everyday, we give 18-20 units of platelets, that include of donors from the patient’s family. The demand for platelets has increased five-folds more than our capacity. In this case, we have to turn down many patients or even ask them to seek help from the NGOs,” she said.
A social worker who runs a blood bank named Maa Vaishno Devi Seva Samiti (MVDSS), Mukesh Hissariya claimed that their trust has provided 250 units of platelets to dengue patients in the last 15 days.
“The daily demand for platelets has increased up to 500 units in Patna for RDP and 30 units for SDP, which over 20 blood banks failed to fulfil. I receive 80-100 calls a day from patients’ relatives and family members asking for help to arrange platelets. We are even organizing blood camps for dengue patients but the demand is still high,” he told TOI.
He added: “If the state government would have ensured the operation of apheresis machine, which is installed at PMCH, IGIMS and Jayaprabha Hospital, the shortage of platelets would have been minimised at government health facilities.”
The cries for help to dengue patients on social media have also started spreading. Trilokee Gupta, who hails from Buxar, tweeted: “My relative Sonu is currently admitted at a hospital in Meethapur. He is suffering from dengue and his blood count has declined to 15,000. He requires platelet transfusion but unable to get (sic).” Many such calls for help are pouring on social media.
Shivam Kumar, resident of Ashiana Colony, said his nephew Prithvi is suffering from dengue. “For the last one week, he is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Raja Bazaar. The hospital asked us to arrange the platelets. We seek help through social media but no one helps. We finally found a donor in the distant family. So far, platelet transfusion takes place three times. Prithvi’s platelets dropped below 10,000,” he said.
According to doctors at NMCH-Patna, of the patients coming for the dengue test (ELISA NS1), around 45-50% of them are testing positive. Dr Mukul Kumar, epidemiologist, said on Sunday only three patients came for test and all were positive. The flow of patients is generally low on weekends. “Total number of admissions has increased to 26 at NMCH-Patna and around 50% of them required platelets. However, there is no shortage of platelets at the hospital right now. On Saturday, 116 came for test and 50 of them were found infected with dengue,” Dr Mukul said.
Dr Kamal Kishore Roy, Patna civil surgeon, told TOI on Sunday that so far 1939 dengue cases have been reported in Patna since January this year. He also denied any shortage of platelets at health facilities.