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RIMS under CAG scanner

 RANCHI: "Blood donation is the greatest donation of mankind" the phrase commonly used by medical fraternity to receive blood from donors seems to be not going well with the state's premiere health institute the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

Even as the doctors admit that blood is one of the most precious things man can donate and save life of others, it is because of lapses on part of RIMS that 699 units of blood had to be discarded by the institute simply because of lapses on its part.

The lapses ranged from receiving donations without proper and mandatory checks, improper storage and handling and also storage discrepancies under proper refrigeration.

The startling facts have been revealed in the report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, published from the data found till March 2010. According to the survey conducted at RIMS blood bank, it was revealed that during 2006-2009, the institute received 41,120 units of blood as donation out of which 699 units were discarded for various reasons in these four years. Though in terms of donation that the institute received, the figure of units of blood discarded appears minimal but given the inequitable importance of blood, loss of even one unit is considered derogatory for the reputation of an institution like RIMS.

While the CAG reports holds RIMS management accountable for this priceless loss, the RIMS director has a different argument for the CAG remarks. Director Tulsi Mahato said that certain units of blood could have been discarded because of mishandling or delay in refrigeration but maximum units were found to be infected with some antigen and were misfit to be transfused. "Only 35 units of blood expired of around 40,000 units of donation received because of storage beyond permissible time period," he said, adding that blood units when kept in proper refrigeration for more than 30 days, it gradually loses its properties and discarded as per medical parameters.

The CAG report specifically says that out of 699 units of blood discarded over four years, 176 were found to be haemolysed because of various reasons which includes improper storage and 35 units were stored beyond permissible time, the rest of them were found to be infected with some or other kind of virus or antigen. Seven units were found to be positive in venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test, 172 units were infected with malarial parasite, 53 units tested positive to hepatitis C virus, 13 units tested positive against HIV infection and as many as 243 units tested positive for Hbs Ag (Hepatitis B) viruses.

The blood donations were collected without conducting pathological tests on the blood sample of donor before receiving the donation as a result of which they had to be discarded after the tests were carried out.

Babu Mani Baski, one of the doctors of department of surgery in RIMS, said that conducting the pathological tests on sample of blood donor was literally impossible. "We cannot ask the donor to give a sample and wait for test results to come before donating blood because some of the tests take more than 12 hours for the study to be completed," he said.

Baski added that before accepting donation, standard references are used which include seeking medical history of the donor, body weight and confirmation that the donor has not consumed alcohol in the past 72 hours. "Many times donors are unaware about their own disease conditions but volunteer to donate blood; it is only after the test that they come to know their disease condition but in that case we have to discard the "contaminated" blood which can obviously not be classified as "life-saving or priceless" he said. source-timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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