The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Test goes wrong before transfusion

Islampur, Jan. 7: A woman who was given the wrong blood on the basis of a test at Islampur Subdivisional Hospital had to be shifted to Siliguri this afternoon after her condition deteriorated.

Seema Malakar, a 25-year-old resident of Daspara in North Dinajpur’s Chopra, was admitted to the Islampur hospital on January 1 under general physician Dr Kanchan Saha. She had been suffering from anaemia.

Dr Saha advised transfusion of blood. The pathology department of the hospital in its test found Seema’s blood group to be “A+”. On the basis of the report, the patient’s husband Manoranjan Malakar, arranged for four units of blood and handed it over to the hospital.

“But instead of recovering, my wife’s condition started deteriorating sharply after the transfusion. I met Dr Saha who advised to arrange for two more units of blood. My wife’s blood was again tested in the hospital laboratory and this time the report said she was ‘B+’,” Malakar said.

To be further sure, the hospital authorities repeated the blood test at least six times. Every time, it turned out to be “B+”.

Then the blood sample was taken to a private pathological laboratory which also confirmed that her blood group was “B+”.

Dr Subrata Moitra, a critical care expert in Calcutta, said mismatched blood transfusion could lead to fever, jaundice and also affect the liver. “It requires immediate treatment and if this is not done, it can turn fatal,” Dr Moitra said.

As the news spread yesterday, the members of the local committee of the Democratic Youth Federation of India gheraoed the hospital. They demanded a thorough inquiry and punishment for the guilty.

Hospital superintendent Benoy Bhusan Bera admitted the lapse on the part of the health facility.

“I wonder first of all how such a thing could take place. I am really shocked. I had never come across such a situation. I talked to experts in North Bengal Medical College Hospital in Siliguri. They did not have any ready explanation as to why the report was ‘A+’ the first time,” Bera said.

The hospital superintendent said the patient had already been referred to NBMCH for specialised treatment. He said an inquiry would be conducted to find how such a blunder took place.

The joint secretary of the DYFI zonal committee, Abul Hossain, demanded exemplary punishment of those responsible for the blunder. He also demanded that the hospital should bear all the expenses of Seema’s treatment.

The chief medical officer of health of the district, Sudhanshu Sekhar Sahoo, said he would send a four-member team headed by his deputy Manikanchan Saha to inquire into the lapse. He said the action would be taken on the basis of the report.

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