Tuesday July 17, 2018

Government allows transfer of blood between blood banks

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080814-N-0486G-006 MAYPORT, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2008) Bags and vials of blood await processing during the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) Blood drive at Naval Station Mayport. The ASBP program is different from other blood donations because all of the donations go straight to service members. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Gay/Released)
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 New Delhi: The health ministry has permitted transfer of blood from one blood bank to another, a step that will help in transferring blood to the hospitals that face scarcity, an official statement said on Monday.

The ministry has also fixed an exchange value for surplus plasma available at some blood banks in the country.

“Now, an exchange value of Rs.1,600 per litre of plasma has been fixed and the blood banks with surplus plasma can exchange it for consumables, equipments or plasma derived products, as per their need,” the health ministry said in the statement.

“Earlier, in the absence of the enabling provision, surplus plasma was traded or sold by the blood banks without any regulation whatsoever,” the statement said.

The decision was taken after the recommendations made by the National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC), an 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.

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Mysterious Health Incidents Affect 1 More American in Cuba

In all, 25 Americans have been affected by the mystery ailment in Cuba

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A view of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on Sept.18, 2017.
A view of the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba on Sept.18, 2017. VOA

One more U.S. Embassy employee in Havana, Cuba, has been affected by mysterious health incidents, the State Department said.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said one of two Americans recently evacuated from Cuba was “medically confirmed” to have been affected, while the other was “still being evaluated” by doctors.

25 Americans affected

In all, 25 Americans have been affected by the mystery ailment in Cuba.

“We still don’t know, to this day, what is causing it and who is responsible,” Nauert said, noting that investigations were underway in Havana as well as Guangzhou, China, where one employee experienced similar symptoms recently.

The United States has said that the Cuba incidents started in late 2016. The State Department calls them “specific attacks” but has not said what caused them or who was behind them. Cuba has adamantly denied involvement or knowledge.

Initial speculation centered on some type of sonic attack owing to strange sounds heard by those affected, but an interim FBI report in January found no evidence that sound waves could have caused the damage, The Associated Press has reported.

Secretary Kerry Touts Virtues of 10-Year U.S.-China Business and Tourism Visas Before Presenting First Documents in Beijing
Secretary Kerry Touts Virtues of 10-Year U.S.-China Business and Tourism Visas Before Presenting First Documents in Beijing, flickr

Warning issued in China

The State Department issued a health warning after the employee in China reported experiencing “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure” and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described it as a “serious medical incident.”

Also read: Cuba Invites United Nations human rights Investigator for first time in decade regarding Human Trafficking

The new confirmation came less than a week after the U.S. renewed demands on Cuba to determine the source of the “attacks” on U.S. diplomats. Cuba responded by again denying any involvement in or knowledge of any such attacks. (VOA)