Bangabandhu Sheikjh Mujib Medical University has opened a new avenue of helping patients to get the costly blood apheresis services at affordable cost.
Apheresis is a procedure that separates blood into its individual components such as plasma, platelets, or white blood cells during the donation process.
At the growing demand for apheresis, the services is available only in some private diagnostics labs and posh hospitals where patients suffering from blood related diseases pay a lot and the poor are denied access to such treatment. Professor Ashasul Islam, chairman, National Safe Blood Transfusion Experts Committee said BSMMU has started Platelet Concentration, one of the several blood component separating processes, with installing two machines that will reduce apheresis costs by 50-70 per cent.
Islam said patients of dengue, blood cancer, aplastic anemia and other blood related diseases need a particular blood component and it is done with high costs in the labs but the government has decided to make it affordable. He said once this was done abroad but some private investors have made the fractionation available which is of high costs. Health sector people say posh hospitals and some diagnostics labs are doing platelet concentration, plasmapharesis, therapeutic plasma exchange, leukoreduced platelet, leukoreduced red cell exchange and other fractionating processes, which are done at Tk40,000-Tk1,00000. All the patients are not capable to pay such amount of money. Islam, also registrar of the BSMMU, said the apheresis machines installed at the Safe Blood Transfusion Department for platelet concentration is charging only Tk12,000-Tk15,000.