The VHS Blood Bank started functioning in 1962 under the guidance of Dr. K.S. Ranganathan, former adviser on blood transfusion to the Director General of Health Services, Government of India. The blood bank, from the very beginning, has encouraged voluntary blood donation. Dr. J. Balasubramaniam, who joined the blood bank as the Medical Officer in August 1964, is currently its Director.
In 1997, the Rotary Club of Central Madras and TTK ventured into the field of blood banking and helped to provide the VHS Blood Bank with modern blood bank equipment and trained personnel. The Rotary Club of Madras also donated the present building to house all the advanced equipment.
The Blood Bank is licensed by the Drug Controller and all blood samples are screened for HIV, hepatitis, VDRL for AIDS, and Jaundice and STD respectively, before they are transfused. The services of the Blood Bank are available round the clock. It is staffed by qualified and trained medical officers, staff nurses, technicians and blood bank workers. It has a well-equipped air conditioned van to go for blood donation camps and for transportation of blood and blood units collected for immediate processing.
The intensive drive for building up the stock of blood continues. We are thankful to the donors and organisers of the various institutions who participated in the Blood Collection camps. A total of 167 camps were conducted and14, 846 units of blood collected during the year under report.
All blood and blood components are given free of cost to all the patients with haemophilia and thalassemia irrespective of their income groups. The value of such free blood issued during the year 2017-18 amounted to Rs.49.38 lakh (Rs. 37.39 lakh in 2016-17). Also blood is issued at 50% discount to the General Ward patients.
We have backup of teams of specialists in various other allied departments of general medicine and the consultants of the respective departments frequently visit and give their expertise at the patient’s bedside. We practise thorough exchange of knowledge to the benefit of the patients by holding review sessions.
As part of the programme, the Blood Bank gives 24-hour comprehensive care to haemophiliac patients along with free blood and blood components including cryoprecipitate. We are thankful to the Haemophilia Society – Madras Chapter for organising this free supply for deserving patients and for taking full care of them.
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