MADURAI: Deep freezer that stores Fresh frozen plasma (FFP), a blood component administered to patients with coagulation defects/disorders and worth Rs 52,000 lies defunct at the Trauma Care Centre (TCC) block of Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) since July.
FFP is one of the three components (the other two being packed red blood cells and platelets) separated from blood collected through voluntary donation and is separated from whole blood with the help of the component separating equipment - cryofuge.
FFP is obtained by freezing the liquid portion of whole blood at about -20°C to -40°C within eight hours of collection and has a frozen shelf life of one year. Prior to transfusion, FFP must be thawed in a water bath at about 30°C - 37°C for 30 minutes. Once thawed, FFP should be transfused immediately or stored at about 1°C - 6°C for upto 24 hours. Before transfusion, FFP is usually cross-matched to screen for compatibility, although not mandatory.
FFP is transfused in case of liver failure, disseminated intravascular coagulation, congenital or acquired coagulation factor deficiency and massive bleeding. According to sources at GRH, there are seven deep freezers for the storage of FFP - six at the GRH Blood Bank in the old Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC) block and one in the Blood Bank's storage unit at the TCC block and a total of 3,000 units of FFP is kept in stock at the GRH.
Worth Rs 52,785, the deep freezer housed at the TCC block was procured in March 2012 and was being used for patients at the TCC block (that exclusively handles trauma patients) and as well as the Super Speciality Block (that receives patients with liver ailments in the departments of medical and surgical gastroenterology). However, since July, the storage equipment lies defunct and the hospital sources added that it went into repair frequently even before that.
As a result, for patients at the two blocks who require FFP, it is being supplied from the Blood Bank at the old CEmONC block which is nearly a kilometre away from the TCC and Super Speciality Block. A hospital staff said, "Due to inadequate storage facility for FFP at the two blocks, hospital workers are asked to run errands for FFP supply. As a result, complaints arise from patients and attendants that hospital workers seek the transport charges ('20 to and fro in share auto) from them."
"A request for repair was put forth long ago and it stands pending. Simultaneously, the procurement process for the purchase of a new deep freezer is underway," said an official, on condition of anonymity. The hospital Dean Dr K Vanitha was unavailable for comment.