Dollar crisis hits Blood Bank

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The national blood transfusion service has been severely hampered due to a serious lack of a number of essential equipment including bags to store blood donated by the public, Ceylon Today learns.

Director of the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Lakshman Edirisinghe said the crisis was caused by the lack of funds to import blood transfusion equipment.

He said blood transfusion was a complicated process, and all equipment related to it, except blood, is imported.

“It is possible to perform blood transfusion for a few days using the limited equipment available at the moment but if the issue persists within the next two to three months, patients’ lives will be jeopardised. The country requires between 1,400 and 1,500 blood packs per day, and doctors have been instructed to work keeping the issue of limited equipment available at the moment in mind,” he said.

When asked about the Ministry of Health’s response to the equipment shortage, Edirisingheclaimed the National Blood Transfusion Service will be prioritised when the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank grant funds.

“Sri Lanka maintains one of the highest quality blood transfusion services in the world, and the blood bank could be in a bad situation if the equipment to continue the service without interruption is not available,” he said.

BY Thameenah Razeek