Many poor patients face uncertainty over getting emergency blood supply due to lack of blood bank in many state-run hospitals at upazila level across the country. Sources said many Upazila Health Complexes have no blood bank while a small blood bank is attached to the hospitals at district level. Some 8-10 bags of blood can be preserved at such small blood bank, which is inadequate to meet the re
quirements of emergency patients. District hospitals at Chuadanga, Bagerhat, Nilphamari and other costal districts have small blood banks for which many emergency patients are forced to move to other hospitals for treatment, causing death of patients sometimes. Health professionals told daily sun that blood bank is a pre-condition for setting up a hospital but many hospitals at upazila level do not have blood bank while a few patients get blood from the state-owned hospitals at district level. Prof Dr Rashid-E-Mahbub, president of ‘Health Right Movement’ and former president of Bangladesh Medical Association, said accident victims cannot receive adequate emergency medical services from the emergency units of the government-run hospitals due to lack of blood bank at upazila and even at district level hospitals. “Blood saves lives and the health complexes at upazila level must have blood banks so that poor patients can get free blood during emergency,” he added. Prof Rashid said poor patients, who are unable to receive emergency treatment from private healthcare institutions for high costs, are directly or indirectly dependent on public hospitals for treatment. Dr Abu Sayed Khan, a renowned health expert, said blood bank should be made mandatory for opening a hospital as accident victims require blood anytime to save their lives. So a comprehensive blood bank needs to be attached to the hospitals. “Now, there are many blood banks at district level in private sector. But there are questions about the quality of blood as such blood banks collect blood from injecting drug users (IDUs) and they (IDUs) give blood in exchange for money to burgeoning blood banks, which later sell the essential liquid to gullible patients,” he also said. Dr Syed said people get infected with numerous diseases like syphilis, hepatitis and HIV/AIDS after taking such poisonous blood. The health professionals urged the government to set up well-equipped blood banks at upazila and district level hospitals so that emergency patients can save their lives by taking blood from those hospitals. Contacted, Dr Abdul Hannan, director (hospital) of directorate of health services, said steps will be taken to set up big blood bank in district hospitals so that the poor can get blood from there during emergency need.