Getting a blood transfusion in India

#1 Jul 25th, 2017, 08:44
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  • salima is offline
#1
according to a local doctor (who has his own hospital) my adopted son rasheed needs four bottles of blood and he is giving us no option to get it done other than to bring in four people as donors. i am beginning to suspect something is fishy.

i have heard all that needs to be done is go to a blood bank and buy blood, or better yet go to a government hospital and they have their own blood bank and buy it there and they will do it.

the doctor i took him to is the one who operated on his wife for kidney stones and the doctor's wife is a gynacoloogist who took her through her pregnancy which was very difficult due to the stones and constant kidney infection in addition to a very low hemoglobin level. i had built up some trust in these people but now i am worrying.

i will be calling a couple of other doctors to ask if they think this is appropriate or is there a faster way of doing things because four donors are not available-after two days rasheed could not find even one, not in his village or his own family.

there are some people who do it professionally i think, and rasheed knows someone who does this, lines up people to 'be your friend' and then you go to the hospital with them. the doctor told me there is some form that has to be filled out and a charge from the blood bank where the donation will be made and i dont know where the transfusion will be done but the doctor said there would also be a charge from his hospital.

i imagine things are different in different states, i am in madhya pradesh. i wondered if anyone has any experience in this kind of thing?

i do know some hospitals intimidate patients into donating because they want to replenish their own blood banks, which is not illegal but i think very unethical.
Last edited by salima; Jul 25th, 2017 at 08:46.. Reason: typos
#2 Jul 25th, 2017, 09:31
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#2
In my limited experience, this is what hospitals do, they ask for donors. If it is not an emergency, I doubt they will make an exception.

This is a good practice in my view, if they give blood to anyone without bothering to ask for donors, then most likely the blood would have been sourced unethically. There are plenty of cases of blood black market where drug addicts, poor people and others sell the blood for money.
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#3 Jul 25th, 2017, 10:08
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#3
Many times doctors ask to keep 4 donors ready in case of a surgery. They might Be needed in case of emergency. Is he having a surgery? There used to be a site friends2support dot org. Do a google search if it's still there. I used it around 8 years back
#4 Jul 25th, 2017, 11:03
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i dont really know if it would be considered an emergency, but it is serious. he had an episode of what the doctor said was piles or fissures, and was bleeding heavily (as he perceived it, though the patient is not always able to tell) for one or two weeks by the time he told me and we went to the doctor. the doctor gave him some meds and had us get his blood tested and his hemoglobin was down to 6.3. we dont know what it was before this. however, i dont recall seeing a cdc for the red cell count, which i thought was a more important factor than hemoglobin when it comes to blood transfusions. i was beginning to think maybe he doesnt need one at all, or maybe just one bottle rather than four.

but after two days of running around trying to find donors, the bleeding had stopped, so we waited until the meds were done and went back, but we were told the same thing about the transfusion. he has a lot of pain in the joints as well as his abdomen and a headache all the time now, which i assume to be symptoms of blood loss.

i was afraid the people he knows who do this kind of work are actually in the black market and i dont know how i would know.
#5 Jul 25th, 2017, 11:15
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#5
Salima, are you placed in a city or a town?
I would recommend to get blood from a blood bank, if required, shift to a city to get the treatment done.
Usually, there are loads of blood bags with the blood banks, which are collected through blood collection camps. Usually, almost 60% of these bags go waste as they are not utilised during their shelf life. The blood collection is done without any financial incentives, though the blood bank do charge as they have to process and store the blood.
Haemoglobin of 6 with some complaints as he is having, would mean that he would benefit from blood transfusion. One bag of blood shall raise the haemoglobin by approx. 1 point. So to reach 10 he would need four. Ideal haemoglobin for men would be around 14. The rest he can try to gain via medicines and diet.
Also do make sure he gets treatment for his piles/fissure, as the body cannot add blood to match the rate of loss through piles.
Hope this helps. Do ask for more information as required.
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#6 Jul 25th, 2017, 11:41
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#6
I have had to go four or five times in medical emergencies to Delhi over the years and have told various corporate hospitals (blood was required each time) that I cannot arrange donors locally. They made alternate arrangements- all those hospitals had blood banks attached.
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#7 Jul 25th, 2017, 21:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snotty View Post Salima, are you placed in a city or a town?
I would recommend to get blood from a blood bank, if required, shift to a city to get the treatment done.
Usually, there are loads of blood bags with the blood banks, which are collected through blood collection camps. Usually, almost 60% of these bags go waste as they are not utilised during their shelf life. The blood collection is done without any financial incentives, though the blood bank do charge as they have to process and store the blood.
Haemoglobin of 6 with some complaints as he is having, would mean that he would benefit from blood transfusion. One bag of blood shall raise the haemoglobin by approx. 1 point. So to reach 10 he would need four. Ideal haemoglobin for men would be around 14. The rest he can try to gain via medicines and diet.
Also do make sure he gets treatment for his piles/fissure, as the body cannot add blood to match the rate of loss through piles.
Hope this helps. Do ask for more information as required.
we went to the blood bank today. we decided to go ahead with the paanwallah who runs the blood donor business. ultiumately i realized this fellow is just a middleman working with the blood banks, which of course are money making institutions, but on the side of the law at least. it is all done in daylight.

a bottle of blood from the blood bank costs 800 rupees, assuming of course you have brought a donor to replace it. i met the four donors, they were all young boys, and they smiled when i thanked them for helping. obviously they were not poor, but they were not from rich families either. while we were there at least four more young boys came in for the same purpose, but they didnt have anyone with them. there will be the additional charge for the lab to prepare the blood, which is something like three thousand rupees, and then the charge at the hospital of 900 rupees per bottle to let it drip through a tube into rasheed. so far the expense mounts up to something over seven thousand rupees, not counting at least three hundred for the autos, and i am sure there are more charges yet to come from the hospital or the doctor.

thanks for the input. other than this one time of bleeding he hadnt had a problem, and he said he felt no pain at all, no itching, nothing like people usually report. it scared me but the doctor still diagnosed it as piles and/or fissures, though he didnt take any fancy tests. i think i will start a new thread on piles because that is something else i want to get some insight about.
#8 Jul 25th, 2017, 21:35
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Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post I have had to go four or five times in medical emergencies to Delhi over the years and have told various corporate hospitals (blood was required each time) that I cannot arrange donors locally. They made alternate arrangements- all those hospitals had blood banks attached.
there are no corporate hospitals here. well, i take that back, there is an apollo. i hadnt thought of that option.

but after asking the opinion of a couple of other doctors, it seems the only way blood can be had around here is with donors. and since no one around here donates other than 'donors' meaning friends and relatives dont, only those who are accustomed to doing it regularly are available. so there is no way to say you cant arrange for donors, because we have them. i wish the doctor would have come out and told me this in the first place, but i guess he expected that it was a case of common sense, which doesnt work well if you try and transfer it from one culture or country to another. it took me some time to 'get it'.

the paanwallah, seeing that i didnt know what was happening, came with us to the hospital and talked to the doctor, and the doctor talked to him, so he is the real mccoy apparently. i just stepped back and let them handle it.

the first two bottles are to be administered sometime hopefully close to ten am tomorrow morning, and each of them will take four hours. at night rasheed can go home and the next day do the same thing all over again. then another blood test, then see where we are.
#9 Jul 25th, 2017, 21:37
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so i guess that is how to get a blood transfusion in madhya pradesh.

ratlam is a big enough city. we dont have mcdonald’s but we have dominoes pizza. lots of restaurants are turning up now and fast food joints...not that i think that is a good thing, but just to explain what one might expect to find here. indore is the uptown city which would have the most modern stuff. jabalpur is the industrial capital of the state, and of course bhopal is the culture capital (or not, depending how you look at it). so i cant say for sure the way things work in ratlam is how it would be everywhere in madhya pradesh as far as blood transfusions and blood banks go, but it is probably worse in a lot of other places in the state. worse meaning more inconvenient or inaccessible.
#10 Jul 25th, 2017, 21:47
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I had a friend who worked in a hospital blood tranfusion department, and he mentioned the importance of "cross-matching" the blood between donor and recipient. I assume that there is some degree of matching blood types here?
Having 4 random persons giving blood is not correct, as far as I am aware...

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#11 Jul 25th, 2017, 21:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I had a friend who worked in a hospital blood tranfusion department, and he mentioned the importance of "cross-matching" the blood between donor and recipient. I assume that there is some degree of matching blood types here?
Having 4 random persons giving blood is not correct, as far as I am aware...

Edwin.
yes, they do match the blood, or try to. there can be mistakes. but i also believe that they dont actually use the blood of the donors, because they can be any type blood. and it would make more sense to sell a part of their supply in stock and keep the fresh stuff which would have a longer shelf life.
#12 Jul 25th, 2017, 22:39
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I had a friend who worked in a hospital blood tranfusion department, and he mentioned the importance of "cross-matching" the blood between donor and recipient. I assume that there is some degree of matching blood types here?
Having 4 random persons giving blood is not correct, as far as I am aware...

Edwin.
Reading through this thread, I had the same concern. There can be very serious reactions to an unmatched blood transfusion, including death. Besides ABO matching, there is also something called Rh factor. Some of us are Rh+ & some are Rh-. Rh+ can receive blood from either (+ or -) but Rh- people should only receive Rh- blood. Not meaning to be an alarmist but I hope they are very careful.
#13 Jul 25th, 2017, 22:40
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"yes, they do match the blood, or try to. there can be mistakes. but i also believe that they dont actually use the blood of the donors, because they can be any type blood. and it would make more sense to sell a part of their supply in stock and keep the fresh stuff which would have a longer shelf life."

Ok, good. Sounds confusing though!
#14 Jul 26th, 2017, 01:32
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Originally Posted by salima View Post so i guess that is how to get a blood transfusion in madhya pradesh.

ratlam is a big enough city. we dont have mcdonald’s but we have dominoes pizza. lots of restaurants are turning up now and fast food joints...not that i think that is a good thing, but just to explain what one might expect to find here. indore is the uptown city which would have the most modern stuff. jabalpur is the industrial capital of the state, and of course bhopal is the culture capital (or not, depending how you look at it). so i cant say for sure the way things work in ratlam is how it would be everywhere in madhya pradesh as far as blood transfusions and blood banks go, but it is probably worse in a lot of other places in the state. worse meaning more inconvenient or inaccessible.
I don't know how old saleem is, or what his health history ( incl his parents) has been. But you may want to get some more definitive testing to confirm piles/ hemorrhoids as the cause of the bleeding. Rectal bleeding can be caused by colo-rectal cancer also, although doctors can sometimes tell from the blood color whether it is piles related or otherwise. To confirm whether or not the bleeding originated from a polyp( cancerous or otherwise) in the colon/ rectum, it is good to have a colonoscopy done. It is recommended for all adults above 50 (in the US), and above 40, if your parents have had a history of colo-rectal cancer.
#15 Jul 26th, 2017, 09:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston123 View Post I don't know how old saleem is, or what his health history ( incl his parents) has been. But you may want to get some more definitive testing to confirm piles/ hemorrhoids as the cause of the bleeding. Rectal bleeding can be caused by colo-rectal cancer also, although doctors can sometimes tell from the blood color whether it is piles related or otherwise. To confirm whether or not the bleeding originated from a polyp( cancerous or otherwise) in the colon/ rectum, it is good to have a colonoscopy done. It is recommended for all adults above 50 (in the US), and above 40, if your parents have had a history of colo-rectal cancer.
he is probably about 46-48 is my guess. many people here do not know their exact age. i find the men remain at 40 and the women at 25 until people stop asking.

a specialist is who has ordered the blood transfusions, and he felt certain in his diagnosis though he did not share the reasons with me. he felt there was no need for any other tests. but if he says surgery is necessary, especially if there is no further bleeding, there would be first the thing they use to do it which has a camera and he would see instantly, online that is, what it was there was to fix, or maybe that it was something worse. if it was indeed something else, of course the test would be finished and no surgery, but go on to other options for treating whatever it is he finds.

what worries me too is the fact that rasheed had serious problems with varicose veins in his left leg and three or four surgeries over the years i have known him on that already. it seems to me that since hemmorhoids are a related weakness, maybe that could have a bearing on this issue. i asked the surgeon who did his last surgeries on the leg, and he said no, but he may not have exactly understood my meaning.

as a matter of fact, i think i will take the reports from baroda to the doctor here when we see him for a review after the transfusions are complete and he can decide whether or not it is a contributing matter or complication or inconsequential.

this morning the first transfusions are to be done.

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