in the wake of a large number of complaints over the quality of blood supplied by the government and private blood banks for transfusion, a ban will be issued on professional blood donation from January 1 next year. The proposed ban is a follow up to a Supreme Court direction issued in May this year on a public interest litigation by Common Cause, a Delhi-based consumer activist group who claimed that professional blood donation posed a serious risk to public health, by way of transmission of several deadly diseases. However, the ban may lead to a shortage of blood in the country. While the national requirement for blood is estimated at about 60 lakh units per annum, the total collection is only about 30 lakh units, with professional donors contributing one-third of it. Experts say that this problem could, however, be met by promoting a more rational use of blood. Blood has several components -- plasma, platelets White Blood Corpusules, Red Blood Corpusules and haemophiliac factors -- and in most cases it is enough to transfuse one or the other component, instead of the whole blood.