Patients in the lurch as blood banks go dry

The travails of patients and their attendants at government hospitals to secure a unit of blood would leave anyone teary eyed.

When Deccan Herald visited a government hospital in the City, here is what unfurled. A woman in her late 50s is seen waiting at the door of Victoria Hospital’s blood bank. Illiterate that she is, she had come with a slip on which a clinician had written the number of units of blood she had to take back for her son admitted at the burns ward. She handed the piece of paper to the attender at the section. When the reply came, Ratna Kulkarni was almost in tears.

Kulkarni is new to the City and knows nothing beyond KR market area. Her only son is lying in the burns ward with severe burns. Doctors treating him had asked Kulkarni to get A+ve blood for her son from the blood bank. “Where do I go now? I know nothing beyond this area. Shall I leave my ailing son in the hospital and go in search of blood?” she asked.

 Similar was the plight of other patients too. Srinivas was waiting with his wife at the section on Tuesday. Even this couple had to return empty handed. “I have been suffering from menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding during menstruation). Doctors asked me to undergo blood transfusion as I am anaemic,” said Sarita (name changed).

Meanwhile, another attendant who did not wish to be named said that he was asked to arrange for blood at 12.30 am on Tuesday. At midnight, he had to come to KC General Hospital and fetch blood for his family member.

Also, even as the government officials have been trying to popularise the 104 helpline at every given opportunity where information could be obtained on the availability of blood, none of these patients seemed aware of it. Even as a few had smart phones, they knew not that the information is also made available online.

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