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Health Ministry eases blood storage norms

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Jan. 13

THE Union Health Ministry has allowed peripheral centres and hospitals to store whole blood and blood components without having to obtain a regular licence for running a blood bank.

Through a recent amendment in Schedule K to the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, the Government has exempted the first referral units, community health centres, primary health centres and hospitals having captive consumption of whole human blood or its components of not more than 2,000 units annually, from taking a licence to operate a blood bank for storing blood or its components obtained from licensed blood banks or regional transfusion centres or the Indian Red Cross Society blood banks.

Such storage centres, however, need to have a qualified medical officer to ensure proper procurement, storage and cross matching. And they need to have the approval of the State Licensing Authorities, which is renewable after two years.

The move was precipitated by the fact that the district and taluk hospitals could not fulfil the stringent conditions under which they had to operate blood banks.

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