Exchange of Blood Between Bloodbanks Allowed

As part of its government‘s commitment to ensure safe blood and enhanced access to blood products, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has allowed the transfer of blood from one blood bank to another. This was not allowed earlier and will help in transfer of blood to places of scarcity.

This step was taken on the recommendation of the National Blood Transfusion Council. Detailed guidelines for proper and efficient transport of blood between banks have been prescribed.

The National Blood Transfusion Council under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare is the apex body for formulating policy matters pertaining to the organisation, operation, standards and training of a sustainable and safe blood transfusion service for the country, set up under the directions of the Supreme Court of India.

current affairsThe second step is fixing of an exchange value for surplus plasma available at some blood banks in the country. In the absence of the enabling provision, surplus plasma was traded or sold by the blood banks without any regulation whatsoever.

Now an exchange value of Rs.1600/- per litre of plasma has been fixed and the blood banks with surplus plasma can exchange it for consumables, equipments etc. or plasma derived products, as per their need. This exchange, however, cannot be in terms of cash.

This step is expected to increase the availability of essential life saving medicines like human albumin, immunoglobulins, clotting factors, etc. which are all derived from plasma. This step would also reduce the country’s dependence on import of these products.

In accordance with the directive of the Supreme Court, National Blood Transfusion Council was constituted in 1996 as a Registered Society with its office at New Delhi with the objectives to:

1. Promote voluntary blood donation
2. Ensure safe blood transfusion
3. Provide infrastructure to blood centres
4. Develop human resource.

Additional Secretary and Project Director, National AIDS Control Organisation, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Govt, of India, is the President of the Council and the Director National Council who shall be appointed by the Governing Body with the prior approval of the Union Government shall be the Member Secretary.

The Governing Body can have not more than fourteen members at present but the first Governing Body however was constituted with seven members.

To reiterate firmly the Govt. commitment to provide safe and adequate quantity of blood, blood components and blood products.

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To provide safe and adequate quantity of blood, blood components and blood products.

To make available adequate resources to develop and re-organise the blood transfusion service in the entire country.

To make latest technology available for operating the blood transfusion services and ensure its functioning in an updated manner.

To launch extensive awareness programmes for blood banking services including donor motivation, so as to ensure adequate availability of safe blood.

To encourage appropriate clinical use of blood and blood products.

To encourage Research & Development in the Transfusion Medicine and related technology.

To take adequate legislative and educational steps to eliminate profiteering in blood banks.

Access to safe blood is mandated by law, and is the primary responsibility of NACO. The specific objective of the blood safety programme is to ensure reduction in the transfusion associated with HIV transmission to 0.5 percent, while making available safe and quality blood within one hour of requirement in a health facility.

However, there is a serious mismatch between demand and availability of blood in the country: against 8.5 million units/year requirement, the availability is only 4.4 million units/year. Another concern is that voluntary blood donation is only 52 percent.