Dengue patients suffer as Ludhiana Civil Hospital apheresis machine lies defunct

Many pay more for platelets at private hospitals

Dengue patients suffer as Ludhiana Civil Hospital apheresis machine lies defunct

The apheresis machine bought for Rs42 lakh 10 years ago has not been in working condition for the past four years. file photo

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22

Dengue cases in the district are seeing an upward trend from the past three days. More than 50 cases are being reported daily in the district. Amidst such a situation, the apheresis machine at the Civil Hospital is lying defunct.

The apheresis machine separates blood received from donors into its various components like plasma, platelets and white and red blood cells.

One dies of ‘dengue’, 51 new cases in district

The report of 51 patients came positive for dengue here on Friday. Now, the total count of dengue cases from the district is 631. A patient undergoing treatment at the DMCH is suspected to have died due to dengue on Friday. The patient was a resident of Civil Lines. Till now, four patients have succumbed to dengue. Of total 631 dengue patients, 510 belong to urban and 121 to rural areas.

If the blood bank of the Civil Hospital has enough stock of blood units then random donor platelets can be prepared and given to patients. If the stock is not there then patients are left with no other option, but to go to private hospitals and get single donor platelets.

Random donor platelets are prepared from donated blood within four to six hours of collection. Single donor platelets are obtained from one donor and prepared by an apheresis machine.

The machine bought for Rs42 lakh 10 years ago is not in the working condition from the past four years. Patients are now paying double the price for platelets at private hospitals.

Blood Transfusion Officer of the Civil Hospital, Dr Gurinderdeep Singh Grewal, said, “The machine needs regular servicing. It is not functional at present.”

“We give patients random donor platelets if available. Patients coming to us are those, who cannot afford costly treatment. In case the need for apheresis machine arises, a patient first will have to arrange a donor and pay Rs9,000 as processing charges, which many are generally unable to afford. The OPD and blood are given free of cost to patients,” said Dr Grewal.

“The kits used for processing keep lying unused. We have to return them as they are of no use for us. We have been returning kits in the past too,” Dr Grewal added.

A family of a patient admitted to the Civil Hospital, who needed blood platelets, said random donor platelets were not available and neither the facility for single donor platelets. “So, we shifted our patient to a private hospital,” the family added.

Tribune Shorts


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