Seminar on rational use of blood held in Bangladesh

News Hour:

Bangladesh Thalassemia Foundation has organized a Seminar on “Rational Use of Blood” today at Sagor Runi Auditorium in Dhaka Reporter’s Unity, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The purpose of the seminar was to increase awareness among doctors, patients, blood donors, and common people on the unnecessary and irrational use of blood that is prevalent in our country.

Prof. Dr. Ashadul Islam, Head of the Department of Transfusion Medicine, BSMMU and General Secretary, National Safe Blood Transfusion Expert Committee was the chief guest in the event and Dr. Masooma Rahman Associate Professor, Transfusion Medicine, Dhaka Medical College was the special guest.

Dr. Md. Abdur Rahim, Secretary General of Bangladesh Thalassemia Foundation, in his opening speech said, “Thalassemia patients need 1-2 units of blood each month to survive. Though blood supply is insufficient all over the country, there are many instances where blood is used without any proper indication, blood that could potentially be used to save more lives.”

In the keynote speech, Prof. Dr. Manzur Morshed, an eminent hematologist and advisor to Bangladesh Thalassemia Foundation, said blood transfusion should be used with much caution as it has many harmful side effects. He said, “We should decide to give blood to a patient, only when we are certain that the benefit will outweigh the harm”.

Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Morshed urged that blood transfusion from close relatives should be avoided. He illustrated few real-life cases where giving blood from close relatives resulted in death due to transfusion-associated graft versus host disease, a fatal complication of blood transfusion.

Dr. Masooma Rahman said “There are limitations in the blood banks at the government hospitals. We need to build the capacity of blood bank staffs and modernize the facilities to ensure the quality of the blood products”.

Prof. Asadul Islam, in his closing remark said, “Bangladesh government has made blood screening mandatory for 5 diseases. As a result, professional blood donation is close to nil nowadays. But, only 30% of the blood donation are voluntary and rest 70% made by relatives. We should aim for 100% voluntary blood donation in next 5 years.”

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