Hyderabad, India (PressExposure) March 13, 2009 -- NTR Memorial Trust Blood Bank - first NGO-run blood bank in the country to get accreditation of the National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare Providers (NABH) - to celebrate its first anniversary will introduce Nucleic Acid Test (NAT), a blood screening technology, to make blood safer.
"I am delighted to know that NTR Trust Blood Bank would be using the best of the technologies to ensure quality of the blood by introducing Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) for blood screening," says Dr. Rema Menon, Blood Bank Chief of Apollo Hospital, Chennai. Individual donor nucleic acid (NAT) technology is the most advanced test for screening donor blood samples which helps prevent spread of transfusion transmitted infections like HIV, HCV and HBV. The routine testing done in blood banks can detect only antigens and antibodies of the infection. Such routine screening tests in blood banks cannot detect the infection.
NTR Blood bank, which was inaugurated by His Excellency the Governor of Andhra Pradesh Sri N D Tiwarigaru on January 29, 2008, is also the first blood bank in South India to get NABH. NABH is a constituent board of the Quality Council of India. It evaluates various quality parameters of the blood bank, including collection, storage, processing of blood and the expertise of the staff employed.
Padmasri Prof Kakarla Subba Rao was the chief guest at the celebrations. Actor Bhoomika gave away mementoes to outstanding blood camp organizers while Sri N Lokesh presented mementoes to outstanding rare group and special group blood donors.
"We are pleased to announce that during first year of operation we made rapid strides making our bank head and shoulders above others," says NTR Memorial Trust CEO Sri P Raghu Rama Rao. "NTR Memorial Trust Blood Bank is the first Blood Bank in Andhra Pradesh to get ISO 9001:2000 quality certification," he adds
"NTR Blood Bank is the first in the country to conceptualize the idea of virtual blood banking, where the bank arranges suitable voluntary blood donors for the patients making requests from places where we do not have blood bank," says Sri Raghu Rama Rao.
"The 24x7 call centre established by the blood bank received 11,193 requests from people in need of blood from across the State in one year. Every day the call centre responds to the needs of 70-80 blood request calls from outside Hyderabad," Says Dr V Saraswathi, Director, NTR Blood Bank. "Our Bank is one of the few blood banks in the State maintaining a large database of registered voluntary donors. We currently have over 75,000 and the list is growing every day," she adds. NTR Blood Bank is the only blood bank in the State having exclusive database of Single Donor Platelet (SDP) donors.
NTR Memorial Trust Blood Bank has provided 5,421 units of free blood to patients living below poverty line. The Blood Bank issued 2,331 units of blood to thalassemia, sickle cell anemia and hemophilia patients and has arranged 1,090 in-house infusions to these patients free of cost. Due to large voluntary donor base the Blood Bank has the ability to provide blood round-the-clock, including the rare groups A-, B-, O- and AB-. The Blood Bank organized 104 blood donation camps and collected 17594 blood units from voluntary donors
"We have provided blood and components to 30,000 patients during the period and 30 per cent of its blood/ components were issued to cancer and thalassemia patients," says Sri Raghu Rama Rao. "In our endeavor to use the best of the technologies to ensure quality of the blood, we have tied up with Chiron - a Novartis group company and has planning to introduce NAT procedure for blood screening from March 20, 2009," says Sri Raghu Rama Rao.
"In our efforts to bring the fruits of the National Blood Policy to the people of Andhra Pradesh, the Trust has taken up the issue of creating Regional Blood Transfusion Centers (RBTC) with the Government of AP. Such RBTCs exist in many states, including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. This will help in creating a network of blood banks and storage centers and ensure the availability of high quality blood in every nook and corner of the state.
The Trust is planning to start a Blood Bank at Guntur, which is akin to the Hyderabad Blood Bank to cater to the needs of the patients in that region.