Odisha train mishap: Blood donors restore hope in humanity

Similar scenes were witnessed at SCB medical college and hospital in Cuttack, which has been designated the nodal referral centre for the accident victims.
Image used for representational purpose | Prasant Madugula
Image used for representational purpose | Prasant Madugula

BHUBANESWAR: Cometh the hour, cometh the men and women - The adage was proven by the people of Odisha since the ill-fated train crash at Bahanaga in Balasore district on Friday evening. As the horrors of the mishap began to unfold with the commencement of rescue operations and the extent of fatalities and injuries came to light, the hospital blood banks not only in Balasore but also in many other places like Bhadrak, Jajpur and Cuttack witnessed a  sudden swell of voluntary donors.

The government or the administration had not issued any public request for blood donation nor did anyone ask them - the people themselves apprehended an increase in the requirement of blood considering the gravity of the situation and turned up in large numbers.

Within an hour of the accident, locals and volunteer groups, students turned up in large numbers outside the Balasore hospital to donate blood. Along with the rescue operations, blood donation continued through the night and by morning, the hospital had collected 800 units. With its usual bloodstock, the total stock position stood at 1,700 units on Saturday morning.

Blood bank officer Dr Mahesh Kumar Biswal said they had to ask donors to return home as the capacity was reached. “There were so many people waiting to donate blood even in the morning that we had to collect their phone numbers and told them they would be called if the need arises,” he said.

Similar scenes were witnessed at SCB medical college and Hospital in Cuttack, which has been designated the nodal referral centre for accident victims. Long queues were witnessed at the hospital blood bank from Friday night till Saturday afternoon when the collection was stopped. “I had come to SCB MCH to help the victims who are being brought here for treatment. But their condition was such that I could not enter the trauma centre. I decided to do my bit by donating blood,” said Balaram Mohanty, a local.

HoD of Medicine at SCB MCH Dr Jayant Panda said ever since the accident there has been an overwhelming response from civil society to donate blood.

“Even as we speak, people are standing outside many hospitals including SCB MCH to donate blood,” he said and added that over 3,000 units of blood have so far been collected from Cuttack, Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur.“There is no shortage of blood at any of the hospitals where survivors of the mishap are under treatment,” Dr Panda said. Dr Smita Mahapatra, HoD of the transfusion medicine department, added the members of the SCB junior doctors association, student volunteers and faculty also volunteered.

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The New Indian Express