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Are Blood Donations carriers of infection- Medical students draw a blank!

Are Blood Donations carriers of infection- Medical students draw a blank!

Mumbai: A recent survey conducted by BYL Nair Medical College, Mumbai Central’s   specialists team from the Department of Community Medicine, on medical students, to assess their awareness  on ‘blood donation‘, has come up with surprising revelations .

A recent report in HT states 67% of interns studying in Maharastra’s best medical institutions drew a blank on whether blood was  a transmitting agent for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), hepatitis A, C, B and other infectious diseases.

“Through this study, we wanted to find out about awareness among medical interns about voluntary blood donation. It was undertaken because, by the end of their MBBS course, they are supposed to have understood the importance of blood donation and become capable motivators for blood donation among the public,” said the researchers, while speaking to HT.

The research team that studied 111 interns, over a  self-administered structured questionnaire, comprised of Dr Chaitanya Patil & Dr Durgesh Prasad Sahu from the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College & Hospital , Nagpur, and Dr Armaity Dehmubed from BYL Nair Medical College.

The study has the following surprises in store:

  • Future medical practitioners knew little about basic aspects of best practices in blood donation, leave alone being flag bearers for raising public awareness
  • A mere 14 (12.6%) interns gave correct answers to what  the maximum age for donation was
  • Only 49% knew if a female can donate blood during her  period of menstruation
  • 67% of the interns were unable to tell whether  an infectious disease could be transmitted during blood donation.
  • Only 42.4% know about the minimum haemoglobin count required for blood donation; while 30% of them did not know if an individual suffering from  a chronic disease could donate blood.

The above answers made the researchers conclude that the  knowledge on blood donation  amongst interns was below desired expectation.

“So, information, education & communication activities through regular awareness programs and involvement of interns in blood donation camps should be considered,” the researchers recommended.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health.

Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Dean, BYL Nair Hospital and Topiwala Medical College came up with a saving grace  saying those surveyed  in all liklihood were first year entrants. Students, he added were  introduced to concepts of blood donation and related infections only in the 2nd year.

“We will conduct seminars, so students get better acquainted about best practices in blood donation. We will also send students to blood donation camps as observers to learn,’ said Dr Bharmal.

Source: with inputs
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