Blood component separator lying idle for 3 years at Bengaluru hospital

Among all the hospitals run by the health department, KC General Hospital is the only one that boasts of this equipment that’s worth Rs 60 lakh.

Published: 15th February 2018 06:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2018 06:09 AM   |  A+A-

The blood component separator machine which has been lying idle for the past three years in K C General Hospital, Malleswaram | Nagaraja Gadekal

Express News Service

BENGALURU: If you are a patient being treated at Malleswaram’s KC General Hospital and need any blood components, you will either have to run to the Indian Red Cross blood bank on Race Course Road, Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital blood bank on Miller’s Road, or Victoria Hospital blood bank in Kalasipalya.

This is not because the hospital lacks the necessary means to separate blood components — plasma, platelets, red blood cells or white blood cells — but because the equipment needed to carry out this function, has been lying idle in its premises for the past three years. Not having blood components nearby results in severe dengue patients having to wait for platelets — which they need urgently — to be brought from outside.

Burns patients who need plasma to be administered also need to wait in pain and trauma, although the authorities argue that they hardly get any burns cases as they don’t have a burns ward.Among all the hospitals run by the health department, KC General Hospital is the only one that boasts of this equipment that’s worth Rs 60 lakh. However, the laxity of the administration in getting personnel trained to operate them is the only reason for the equipment gathering dust as patients run from pillar to post for blood components.

Dr Bhanumurthy, medical superintendent at the hospital, said, “We got the equipment three years ago but did not have a technical supervisor. The supervisor should have at least one year’s experience. Also, only recently, we got the licence from the drug controller to operate it. We will use it in a month’s time.”
He argues that despite not having blood components, the bank has served around 1,000 patients who approached them for whole blood. 

There are four units of the equipment used for blood separation -- a centrifugal blood separator, a platelet agitator, a laminar air flow bench and a water bath. All these are lying in an inconspicuous corner of the blood bank.

Dr Mohan, resident medical officer at the hospital, said, “We received each unit over a period of time. We didn’t have all the units. Only last December, we got the licence. We did not have trained human resource to operate them. But, we are the only hospital under the department of health and family welfare to have the equipment. We had recently sent two people for training. We don’t know why the past administration did not get these operated. Only during dengue season we have a problem.”

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