Rukum (West) residents demand blood transfusion centresThe district does not have a blood transfusion centre which means patients and their families have to run from pillar to post looking for donors in their hour of need.
Nandaram Khadka, a resident of Tribeni Rural Municipality in Rukum (West), got his father admitted to the district hospital for surgery last week. The hours following his father’s admission were hectic, as Khadka had to look for a blood donor for his father’s treatment. He finally found a Nepal Army personnel to donate blood after 24 hours of search, he says.
Rukum (West) does not have a blood transfusion centre, which means patients and their families have to run from pillar to post looking for blood donors in their hour of need.
Subas Mahat of Sisne Rural Municipality had taken his wife to the district hospital last month for delivery. Doctors at the hospital asked him to manage blood for his wife’s surgery but he could not find a donor. It took him seven hours to find a Nepal Army personnel to donate blood for his wife’s treatment.
The residents of the district have time and again stressed the need for a blood transfusion centre in Rukum (West) to avoid last-minute searches for blood donors.
“We take patients to the hospital in emergency cases and for planned surgeries. In addition to the pressure of a medical procedure, we have to take on the added worry about managing blood for our patient,” said Kamal Khadka of Tribeni. “It’s hard to come by willing donors and we rarely find donors of the same blood type as asked by the hospital. It’s usually Nepal Army soldiers who step up to donate blood. It’s time we have a blood transfusion centre in the district.”
Security personnel of Nepal Army and Nepal Police and health workers at the hospital are the only willing donors, says Kamal.
The Nepal Red Cross Society had attempted to establish a blood bank in Rukum (West) five years ago and had used a room of the district hospital for the purpose. But the organisation could not meet the necessary requirements and the plan was left in limbo.
Critical patients brought to the district hospital for emergency procedures are hardest hit by the lack of a blood transfusion centre in the district. The doctors refer such patients to medical facilities outside the district to avoid health catastrophes.
“We refer critical patients to health institutions outside the district because we don’t have a blood transfusion centre here. We ask the patient’s family to arrange for blood before surgery but in some cases, that is not possible,” said Dr Kehal Bikram GC, the obstetrician and gynaecologist at the hospital.
“Sometimes the doctors and health workers involved in the treatment and surgery of a patient donate blood in the operation theatre itself,” said GC.
Bishnu Bahadur Shahi’s daughter went into labour and was in need of immediate cesarean surgery two months ago. A resident of Musikot Municipality, Shahi had a hard time finding a suitable blood donor for his daughter.
“The lack of blood banks in the district is a major problem. The concerned authorities have not paid any attention to it. This is a matter of life and death of patients and should be taken seriously,” said Shahi.