The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Expired blood for surgery

Calcutta, Oct. 29: A patient was today given blood that expired 24 hours earlier at SSKM Hospital where a change at the top has not meant an end to the run of horrifying incidents.

Family members of Ameera Khatoon of Chetla besieged Woodburn Ward, where political heavyweights stay, late in the evening, demanding immediate action against those guilty of failing to weed out the pouches of blood that expired yesterday.

Ameera was, however, safe, attending doctors said.

Admitted to the orthopaedics ward on August 28 for an injury in her spine, Ameera was wheeled into the operation theatre around 11 am. Orthopaedic surgeon Michael Heera, involved in the botched-up treatment of the young cricketer Rajnis Patel who died, started the operation along with a team of doctors.

Around 3 pm, doctors asked her family to get some A-positive blood. Ameera’s son, Amir Hussain, rushed to the hospital’s blood bank and procured four pouches.

“We immediately supplied them the blood and, after some time, the doctors said that the operation was over and one pouch (which was not used) could be returned,” Amir recollected.

It was then that a family member noticed that the blood had passed the expiry date on Tuesday. Relatives heckled hospital staff wanting to know how expired blood could be given to a patient during surgery.

Santanu Tripathi, the new hospital superintendent, immediately ordered an inquiry.

“We will get to the bottom of the case and find out how this lapse occurred,” said Tripathi, who took over last week after his predecessor was moved out following the death of a student, Susmita Biswas, without medical attention.

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