Medical College Adopts NAT For Safer Blood Transfusions


KOLKATA: Medical College, Kolkata, has joined the top league of hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore that have the superior Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) facility that enhances blood safety. Institute of Haematology & Transfusion Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, has set a bench mark in West Bengal by adopting NAT for screening donated blood for infectious disease, according to its associate professor Prantar Chakraborty. Speaking at a talk on 'State of blood safety in Kolkata' here today, he said that by taking this progressive step, Medical College Kolkata had joined the ranks of some of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the country. Hospital sources said that by using NAT to screen donated blood for HIV-1, Hepatitis C (HCV), and Hepatitis B (HBV), the medical college was able to intercept infections that would have been missed by serology testing, and deliver safer blood to patients receiving blood transfusions. The units of NAT-tested blood that Medical College, Kolkata screens are provided to a limited number of Thalassemic patients in Kolkata. Medical College, Kolkata adopted NAT after participating in a 15-month nation-wide study of 21,269 donors involving blood banks in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. In the same study, it also evaluated the prevalence of HIV, HBV and HCV in 361 thalassemic patients who had received multiple blood transfusions. The patients had previously been transfused with donated blood that had been tested for HIV, HCV, and HBV with serology tests, but not with NAT technology. Source-