How far are medical professional aware about blood transfusion?

Submitted by rajat on

Sankalp Volunteers often get to meet doctors while solving blood cases. We often get to hear what the doctors told the patient about arranging for blood.
Please discuss here your experiences in this regard. Share the responses the doctors gave you (or gave someone else).
This forum is not meant to undermine or dis-respect anyone. The sole purpose of this is to make the donor community aware about prevalent problems and misconceptions.

Submitted by rajat on Wed, 20-Jun-2007 - 11:00


Yesterday we had an accident case where a Prof and a Student were badly injured. Both were taken to the ICU. Someone approached Sankalp for blood. One of our Volunteers spoke to the blood bank and instructed them to provide as much blood as required for the two without asking for replacements because both were from organizations that donate very regularly. But, in-spite of all our reassurances the patients family continued the blood search. Reason? The doctor had told them -"It is better if you arrange for Fresh Blood!!!" Fresh Blood? Obviously the doctor has no idea about haematology. The doctor does not know that there is no concept like fresh blood in modern sciences. Even though the family got few donors, but it is a sure fact that the blood they donate will also be available for the patient only after about 24 hrs of processing. And then, the doctor wanted red cells. Red cells can be stored easily upto 15 days and more.. The doctor, probably out of ignorance, or out of gut feeling, uttered these words. Since the case required B+, it was still ok because donors were found easily. What if it was some negative group?? If someone ever asks you to arrange for fresh blood, always ask why.. They may not be able to medically justify their demand..

Submitted by rajat on Wed, 20-Jun-2007 - 11:05


People may take instances relating to >> GVHD threat >> Component awareness >> Fresh blood in cardiac surgeries >> Predicting requirements >> Expectation of speed in delivery of blood >> Awareness about blood search methodologies >> Over Confidence and attitude problems >> Unclarity in counsellings patients .. The list goes on..

Submitted by rajat on Wed, 20-Jun-2007 - 15:00


I remember a lard happily walking out of the OT and ordering the patient's illiterate relatives to get 2 Units FFP and 2 units Packed Cells immediately. She immediately turned back to go in. I requested her to stop and asked her if she believed that these people understood hat she said. Then, with her standing on the side, I explained what components are and how should they be told what to get from where.

Submitted by amit on Fri, 22-Jun-2007 - 09:48


We often visit blood banks and the response is good i.e. the doctors insist the patient relative to get the blood from their own side first but they should be more polite.If there is a replacement case the doctors do strictly insist upon the donations from the patient's side.Whenever we handle cases,most of the time the patient relative is found searching for donors among his friends.

Submitted by rajat on Fri, 22-Jun-2007 - 10:53


On one occasion I met a person who required apheresis to be done for his wife. The poor fellow wanted to know what apheresis is. As he approached the doctor, the only reply the doctor had for him was this-"It is normal blood donation. get a person about 65 kgs of same blood group and go to blood bank. Get that letter signed by the in charge and it will be done!". The person asked again, why it takes 2 hours and is it dangerous. The doctor repeated the same reply as before. Five minutes later when I saw the person outside the blood bank, the look on the face said that he did not know what to do. He was nervous because someone had told him 8 units will be taken out in apheresis. He was imagining that it is like some operation. I cooled him down. Explained each detail. And in five minutes, he was smiling. Confident of convincing someone to donate platelets.

Submitted by tejasvi.adiga on Mon, 25-Jun-2007 - 17:14


Well even though one who studies dental gets a doctors degree, he/she doesn't know much about blood donation.. i was shocked to find that they even didn't know about the component seperation of blood.. it is the same case with other doctors who do not handle cases related to blood.. That day i realised not to assume that doctors know everything:-)

Submitted by rajat on Mon, 23-Jul-2007 - 11:28


On Sunday, I got a call from a patient who said that they required 60 units of blood. Considering the large number of units, in a flash of a moment I decided to go and personally meet the people. Only when I read the requisition form did I realise that what was required was 6 pints of blood. Pints is represented by doctors by putting a dot in the center of a circle. Obviously, the doctor did not care to explain to the patient's relative what exactly was required. The slip that was given could easily lead to the mistake of considering 6 pints as sixty. I did not know what to say!!!