Narayana Health City has announced the introduction of ID-NAT (Individual Donor-Nucleic Acid Testing), the latest and the most advanced donor blood screening facility at its blood bank in Bommasandra. Highly sensitive ID-NAT helps in identifying life-threatening blood-borne infections like HIV, HCV and HBV in the shortest possible time. The facility makes Narayana Health City the first private hospital in Karnataka to adopt this superior donor blood testing capability.
Millions of lives are saved everyday using blood and blood products, but the number of people who get infected with life-threatening diseases from blood transfusions is equally high. The ID-NAT tests at Narayana Health help in identifying fatal infections, which may be missed by the routine screening tests, faster.
While conventional screening such as ELISA serology testing requires several days to a few weeks for identifying infections, the ID-NAT facility helps the blood bank to identify the contagion within 15 days. The test reduces the risk of transmission of infections to recipients significantly as the window period taken to identify infections is far lower than the conventional method of testing.
Dr. Sharat Damodar, Clinical Director & Head of Haematology/BMT, Narayana Health City said, “One blood donation can save nearly three lives. Similarly, infected blood can affect an equal number of people. In the traditional mode of testing, the long window period allows many infections to become dormant and hence may not show up during the testing. They may become active once they enter the recipient; thus, endangering his/her life. With the ID-NAT test, the time period has been drastically lowered, which in turn improves the outcome of any blood transfusion. It has the capacity to reduce the risk of infections by 90 percent and it is the most effective method to ensure safe blood supply.”
“While testing is one side of the aspect, the state of blood donation can only be improved with greater participation especially by repeat donors as their blood is tested and verified leading to fewer chances of infections. In fact, one can donate around 4 times a year and can save nearly 12 lives,” added Dr. Sharat Damodar.
Owing to the country’s large population, there is a high prevalence rate of HIV, HBV and HCV and it calls for an emphasis on screening tools such as ID-NAT. With Bangalore falling prey to the dengue epidemic in the recent past, there are higher requirements for blood products to meet the demand for platelet products. This in turn raises the concern of safe blood transfusion to avoid any further medical issues.
Striving towards the motive of ‘Health for All’, NH moves a step forward with this advancement in blood screening test. Narayana Health being a hub for multiorgan transplants, the need to assure safe blood transfusion comes as more of a responsibility than a necessity. In addition to providing the advanced screening test to patients visiting Narayana Health, the hospital also extends help to other hospitals in Karnataka, who are in need of it.