A well organised Blood Transfusion Service (BTS) is a vital
component of any health care delivery system. An integrated strategy
for Blood Safety is required for elimination of transfusion
transmitted infections and for provision of safe and adequate blood
transfusion services to the people. The main component of an
integrated strategy include collection of blood only from voluntary,
non-remunerated blood donors, screening for all transfusion
transmitted infections and reduction of unnecessary transfusion.
The Blood Transfusion Service in the country is highly decentralised
and lacks many vital resources like manpower, adequate
infrastructure and financial base. The main issue, which plagues blood
banking system in the country, is fragmented management. The
standards vary from State to State, cities to cities and centre to
centre in the same city. In spite of hospital based system, many
large hospitals and nursing homes do not have their own blood
banks and this has led to proliferation of stand-alone private blood
The blood component production/availability and utilisation is
extremely limited. There is shortage of trained health-care
professionals in the field of transfusion medicine.
For quality, safety and efficacy of blood and blood products, well equipped blood centres with adequate infrastructure and trained
manpower is an essential requirement. For effective clinical use of
blood, it is necessary to train clinical staff. To attain maximum safety, the requirements of good manufacturing practices and
implementation of quality system moving towards total quality
management, have posed a challenge to the organisation and
management of blood transfusion service.
Thus, a need for modification and change in the blood transfusion
service has necessitated formulation of a National Blood Policy and
development of a National Blood Programme which will also ensure
implementation of the directives of Supreme Court of India - 1996.