Monday, September 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘‘Professional donors’ blood still being used’’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — Experts participating in the update in transfusion medicine at PGI yesterday emphasised the need to promote voluntary blood donation to ensure safe blood supply to the needy patients. Organised by the Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, as part of the WHO programme to observe ‘Safe Blood Year’, they deliberated on how to make the blood safe for transfusion and preserve it in solid form for use at the time of shortage.

India annually requires about 80 lakh units of blood. Blood units collected from voluntary and relation replacement is just 50 to 60 per cent of the supply. This was disclosed by Dr Kum Kum Sharma, Professor and Head, Government Medical College and Hospital, Jammu. She pointed out that despite the ban imposed by the Government of India on donations from professional donors, there were certain areas where their blood was being utilised to overcome the gap between demand and supply. All professional donors continued to masquerade as relative donors.

Dr Sharma emphasised that 100 per cent screening should be done to prevent the incidence of deadly diseases like hepatitis-B and C, syphilis, malaria and HIV. She talked about the optimal utilisation of blood by way of blood component therapy and promotion of autologous blood donation. According to her, blood transfusion reactions occur in 1 to 6 per cent of all transfusion cases. Hence, it should only be given when the therapeutic benefits outweigh the potential risk involved.

Dr Kabita Chatterjee from the Department of Transfusion Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi, stressed appropriate and rational use of blood by using the components rather than the whole blood. “Blood is not like a bottle of tonic. It should be used only when it is needed. By and large, one should avoid blood transfusion just for the sake of it,’’ she said.

The clinicians, who are the main users, should be able to specify when it is needed and what component is required. For instance, if bleeding occurs, you give either platelets or fresh frozen plasma. In case of anemia cases, packed red blood cells are given. This will help use one unit of blood for 4 to 5 patients. She emphasised that blood used for transfusion should be at least 3 days old.

In her lecture on cryopreservation of cellular components of blood”, Dr Chatterjee talked about the latest techniques of storing blood for more than an year. It will be done in case of preserving rare blood groups of O and AB negative by using cryoprotectants like DMSO and gylcerol. However, these solutions will have to be removed before it is used for transfusion.

Dr Kulbir Kaur, professor and Head, GMC, Patiala, emphasised easy availability of blood and accessibility of blood transfusion services to ensure safe blood to patients. She said the base of voluntary blood donors in the country should be increased. Proper storage of blood and screening of infectious markers would also help prevent these infections. She further said each component of blood should produce the desirable effect in the recipient. Talking about autologous transfusion, she disclosed that in this, a recipient serves as his own donor and this, is the safest possible blood transfusion.

Prof J.G. Jolly, Emeritus Professor, PGI, lamented that the state of various blood programmes in the country is dismal despite directions from the Apex Court and health authorities. He pointed out that safe blood, as desired by WHO authorities, can be made available only if we maintain certain desired standards, provide facilities for quality control and make provision for blood components.

There is need to initiate postgraduate training programmes in this discipline at many more places in the country since presently it is being imparted only in the PGI and in Lucknow, he said. The Ministry of Health needs to make a serious effort in this direction. The screening of blood for hepatitis-C should also be made mandatory.

Dr Jolly also pointed out to the absence of a regular follow-up system of blood transfusion and advocated a “lookback phenomenon’’ to evaluate the status of the transfusion in patients. He emphasised the need for disaster management for blood transfusion so that at the time of emergency, it is planned and we are ready with the equipment.

Earlier, while delivering the inaugural address, Dr M. Lranga, Minister of State for Health, Medical Education and Ayurveda, Haryana, emphasised the need for increasing awareness and dispelling the myths in the minds of people residing in rural areas. The CME scientific session began with a talk on transfusion transmitted liver diseases by Prof Y Chawla, Head of the Hepatology Department, PGI. Issues regarding the management of hemophiliac patients and use of blood and blood products in children were also discussed. Prof Subhash Verma, Head of Internal Medicine, PGI, gave a talk on bone marrow transplantation and its use in various diseases. He pointed out how the transplants had changed the face of hematological practice in the past two decades.

Col K.K. Lahiri, incharge of blood bank, Chandi Mandir, gave an overview of transfusion practice in defence services. At the end, Dr Nabjyote Chaudhary from the SGPGI, Lucknow, and Dr Sudarshan Kumar of the PGI discussed innovative techniques like irradiation of blood and blood products and viral inactivation to make blood supply more safe.

Dr S.K. Agnihotri, Head, Department of Transfusion Medicine, PGI, highlighted the challenges due to limited resources and infrastructure. The objective of organising the update was to apprise the delegates with the recent developments in the speciality so that they are able to use the same in solving certain problems associated with blood transfusion and treatment of diseases which require blood in the form of hemotherapy. Back


ISO 9000 certificate for GMCH 32 likely
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — India is emerging as an important global destination for affordable medical services or medical tourism as it is termed ,for both developed and developing countries. Reason being that it is the least expensive, as far as hotel accommodation, transport and medical treatment is concerned.

It is, therefore, being considered mandatory for all medical service providers to demonstrate their commitment to quality of services at the international level. Whereas many private hospitals already hold the ISO 9000 certification, the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, will most probably be the first government institution of its kind, in north India to get it. Dr V.K. Kak, Director Principal, GMCH, says, “The hospital fulfils most of the conditions for getting the certification. Therefore, we are formally going ahead with the process.”

The two-day exposition on “Health care in the new millennium” which concluded at the Indian Medical Association (IMA) complex, today, had deliberation mainly on ISO 9000 certification. The workshop, which was organised by the local branch of the IMA in association with Ind Medica. Com. concentrated on creating awareness about various aspects to meet the international standards of healthcare.

According to Mr M.B. Mittal, Joint Director, Indian Institute of Quality management (IIQM), the future will see a variety of changes in health-insurance, besides. medico-legal aspects in India. “Healthcare practitioners at all levels will have to be well versed with these changing aspects and plan accordingly,” he said. Besides, with increasing medico legal aspects, the insurance companies in the future will prefer a patient to receive treatment in a certified hospital.

International Organisation of Standerdisation or ISO 9000 is a family of standards and quality assurances. Presently three standards for certification exist which includes 9001, 9002 and 9003. These are generic standards which can be applied to any industry. IIQM is the only institute set up by the ministry of Information Technology which is providing ISO certification for medical treatment programmes.

Mr Mittal added that standardisation gains importance because India is fast becoming a global center for medical treatment.” The treatment here is reasonably cheap and the waiting list almost non-existing.”

Moreover, with the added aspect of the Medico-Legal Insurance, ISO stands to gain specific significance. According to Dr G.S. Kochchar, President of the IMA internationally there is a need to better and sustain our capabilities and facilities. “In fact, ISO 9000 is not only for super specialities but can also be given to small nursing homes and laboratories.”

ISO 9000 gains significance because, as of now, India doesn’t have a hospital accreditation system. “Abroad, hospitals are given certificates like hotels, depending upon the facilities and services offered,” said Mr Mittal. ISO 9000 is globally accepted and recognised standard for quality.

With the certification, both the patients and doctors stand to gain, said Dr A.K Atri, Reader, Department of Surgery GMCH “Patients will be benefited by quality healthcare service at economised cost and hospitals can concentrate on providing assured quality service.”

He added that GMCH had thought of getting quality services assurance considering that it fulfills all the requirements set by IIQM. “The quality certification will be renewed every three years. Moreover, the supervising force within the area will ensure that once it gets a certificate it is maintained, as ISO also has an inbuilt capacity for verification.”

Besides, there are inbuilt provisions for training doctors and paramedics, which further enhance the capabilities of an institute. “The component therapy unit established recently at GMCH provides an excellent example as to how blood can be conserved ensuring qualitative economy in blood,” emphasised Dr J.G. Jolly, Emiretus Professor.

“This is being done as per directives of the World Health Organisation which gave the call for providing safe blood together with extending the programme in such a manner that the patient gets maximum benefits. This is all result of quality control,” he added.

“Considering the fact that state-of-the-art GMCH already fulfills most of the requirements for getting the certificate, the Director of the IIQM, Mr G. Giani has assured that we might get it within the next six months,” said Dr Atri.

On the concluding day, Dr O.P. Sharma, President of the Organising Committee of the workshop delivered a talk on telemedicine, medical tourism and the use of Internet, especially for medical professionals.

Mrs Rangoli Sodhi, assistant clinic manger of a slimming and beauty center gave an innovative talk on scientific approach to slimming and beauty care.

Besides, free health and dental check-up and investigations like blood sugar, cholestrol and bone densitometry was also made available to the general public.Back


300 immunised against hepatitis-B
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — A total of 300 persons were immunised against hepatitis-B and more than 1000 were provided free medical check-up in Sarangpur village under the literacy, health and environment project of Rotary Club of Chandigarh Mid-Town, here today.

Voluntary doctors of the Rotary, with the help of members of the Inner Wheel, the Rotract and its youth wing, examined persons for diabetes, skin ailments, blood and urine sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, dental and eye problems. The doctors also discussed general health issues with the people.

The Rotary Club has adopted the government school in the village. The club provides text books and equipment in the primary section of the school.

Dr (Ms) Vanita Gupta, President of the club, informed the villagers that Rotary Chandigarh Mid-Town would work towards improving sanitation by building community toilets. The club would also help spread awareness among children about environment by planting trees in the school compound.

The D.P.I. Schools, Mr D.S. Saroya, assured help to the club to further improve the school. Mr Ranjit Bhatia, Governor of the Rotary District 3080, said the club planned to immunise 14,000 persons against hepatitis-B.Back


PG courses for GMCH being considered
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — Postgraduate Committee of Medical Council of India (MCI) will be meeting on September 21 at New Delhi to consider the cases of various medical colleges regarding granting recognition and approval for starting postgraduate courses.

According to reliable sources, the committee is likely to consider the inspection reports of committees for starting postgraduate courses in the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The Panjab University Syndicate had earlier recommended that the courses be started in the subjects of anatomy, anaesthesiology, community medicine, general medicine, general surgery, general medicine, ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics and pathology. Following this the MCI had sent teams to inspect the infrastructure and facilities available in the departments to start these courses.

The secretary of MCI, Mrs M. Sachdeva, when contacted, said reports have started trickling in and the same after being considered in the meeting here will be referred to the executive committee meeting of the MCI for final approval. They will subsequently send it to the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, the college has, in August this year, started the M.Sc. anatomy course and admitted two students. This non-medical course does not require MCI recognition.Back


Over 100 donate blood
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — Over 100 persons donated blood at a camp organised by the CPWD Junior Engineers Association at Karuna Sadan in Sector 11 on Friday. A team from the PGI conducted the camp, which was inaugurated by Mr P.S. Chadda, Chief Engineer (Zone-I).Back


Rare feat by 12-year-old city golfer
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — Ajeetesh Sandhu, a 12-year-old Class VI student of the local St John’s High School, has probably become the youngest golfer in the country to have scored a hole in one.

He achieved the feat on September 9 at the Chandigarh Golf Club course on the eighth hole using a No 5 wood.

A promising golfer, Ajeetesh has won the CGA Championship in 1998, the Northern India Sub-Junior Golf Championship in 1999 as also the Aman Nat Memorial Golf Championship.

Meanwhile, Gurbaaz Mann , with a gross score of 71, won the competition for below 50 year in the medal round for August played at the Chandigarh Golf Club on September 10. Sandy Lehal finished second with a gross score of 72.

In the 50 to 65 age group, Lt-Col I.P. Singh, won the title with a gross score of 81. At second place was Col K.S. Randhawa with a score of 85. In the competition for the 65 to 70 age group H.S.Guron, with a gross score of 49, was on top followed by K.K. Batta, with a gross score of 52. In the above 70 years category, V.P. Duggal was the winner with a score of 51, while A.B. Khosla was second with 54.Back


Good showing by city shuttlers
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — Chandigarh has qualified for the finals in the Narang Cup for boys and Shafi Qureshi Cup for women in the North Zone inter-state badminton championship in Delhi.

In the women's semi-final, Chandigarh beat Punjab 2-0, with Hemam Sharda Devi defeating Saloni 11-8, 11-1 and Sharda and Mala Gaba winning 15-11, 15-9 against Meeta Bhandari and Navneet in doubles. In the boys' semi-final, Chandigarh beat Punjab 2-1, with Vivek winning 15-5, 15-3 against Iqbal Singh and Varun Sharma triumphing in the decider, while the city pair lost in doubles.

In the men's semi-final, Chandigarh lost 2-3 to Punjab. Ashish Sharma won 17-15, 17-15 against Rohan Kapoor and Vivek Sharma lost 12-15, 1-15 to Mohd Salim. The Chandigarh pair of Vivek and Ashish lost 6-15, 7-15 to Harish Chander and Opinder Pal Singh. Amit Sachdeva won 15-11, 15-10 against Jaideep Kohli, while city boys lost in the last doubles.Back


Winning team’s members honoured
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — Members of the Kelvinator XI, which recently won the Samuel Banerjee Memorial Trophy tournament held at the Cricket Stadium, Sector 16, were honoured by the sponsor Kelvinator at a function organised by the Chandigarh Cricket Association at the Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, today. Mr Rajeev Jain, Regional Manager of the Kelvinator company, distributed gifts to them.

Kelvinator XI was represented by Rakesh Jolly, former Ranji trophy player, Bhupinder Singh Senior another Ranji player, Arun Tuli, R.P. Singh, Amit Uniyal, Madan Lal, Surinder Singh ‘Baijee’, Harminder Singh, Charanpreet Singh, Vaneet Khosla, Vaneet Jain and Ravi Kumar.Back


‘PUDA adopting double standards’
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 17 — The Ghar Bachao Committee, Naya Gaon, has criticised the dual policy adopted by the Punjab Urban Development Authority in allocating electricity connections. This was stated in a press release, here today.

Mr Surjeet Singh, chairman of the committee, stated that the PUDA had adopted double standards when it comes to electricity connections. He said the PUDA was refusing release of connection to poor people on one pretext or the other, while it was favouring influential people.

According to him, an influential person was allotted connection, ignoring all rules and regulations. He wanted to know when a letter was issued by the department concerned to release connections to all those houses which were constructed before December 12, 1998, then the PUDA was not doing so?

The committee also demanded Notified Area Committee status to the area comprising Naya Gaon, Janta Colony and Kansal village. The sarpanch of Janta Colony, Mr Gurbachan Singh, demanded the re-opening of the road to Janta Colony via Punjab Engineering College. He alleged that because of the Administration’s decision to close down the road, residents of the colony were facing difficulties. He also demanded the immediate construction of the road from Naya Gaon to the colony.Back


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