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Health - July 27, 2023

Crying in hospital wailing for blood

Mahfuz Emran: A 12-year-old child was admitted to Ibn Sina Hospital in Dhanmondi with dengue. The child was on life support for two days due to low blood platelets. The patient’s relatives also asked the blood donation organization Donate Blood BD to donate blood. Donors are also managed. But platelets drop below 18,000. The child died on July 23.
In front of the male ward of the capital’s Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, a middle-aged man was walking like a madman. He was talking on the mobile number one after another. After hearing the words, it was understood that his child was infected with dengue and admitted. In the last seven days, her child’s blood platelets have dropped to 12,000. Doctors said, if platelets are not collected by tonight, the patient will fall into critical situation. This gentleman named Zakir Hossain, a resident of Dhaka, has not received a blood donor till 2 pm on Monday (July 24) despite posting on multiple blood donor organizations and social media.
Morsheda Begum, a dengue patient at Mitford Hospital, has reduced platelets to 7,000. And his relatives contacted different places for positive blood, but no blood could be found. Later after many attempts a donor was found. But Morsheda Begum died even after taking one person’s platelets.
Due to the rapid spread of dengue throughout the country including the capital, there is a shortage of blood in the blood banks. Along with this, the demand for blood has also increased. Relatives of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics are desperate for blood. Some of them are contacting their relatives, some are running to blood banks. Some are raising blood by posting on social media. In the treatment of dengue disease, the demand for blood has become several times higher than ever before. Especially the blood of negative blood group is very scarce now.
The same situation is seen in almost all blood collection and supplying organizations including Rajarbagh Blood Bank, Bandhan, Quantum, Red Crescent, Thanthi. They say, besides the regular blood donors, many people are coming forward to donate blood, but their number is not enough. Especially negative group blood is in short supply, making it difficult to provide four bags of blood for one bag of platelets in a dengue situation.
The concerned doctors say that there are no vacant beds in many hospitals of the capital. Many dengue patients need blood for treatment. Blood platelets or platelets decrease in dengue patients. In most cases, it is seen that the patient’s platelets start to decrease from the third or fourth day of infection. It is suddenly coming down below 20-30 thousand. If the platelet count falls below 20,000, the patient may bleed without any injury. The patient died due to dengue shock syndrome.
President of Dhaka University Zone of Blood Donor Association Bandhan Md. Yusuf Hossain told Daily Industry that Bandhan is a voluntary blood donation organization. Bandhan provides free blood to students, teachers, and staff of the university. Today we are getting several times more phone calls than what we used to get before. University students, their relatives or relatives of teachers, officials and employees are also calling us for platelets. We are trying our best.
Nazrul Islam of Donate Blood BD, a blood donor organization, told Daily Industry that there are three to four times more phone calls for donors than before. Most of them are dengue patients. When platelets drop below 20,000, patients’ relatives call us crying for a donor. But in the current dengue situation, it is very difficult to find a donor. Most of those who donate blood regularly have already donated blood to someone or the other.
Himu helps patients find blood donors through social media. He told Daily Industry that earlier 15 to 20 donors were managed throughout the day. But in the current dengue situation, 50 to 60 donors have to be managed a day. Celebrities like Mehzabeen-Shabnam Fariad posted on Facebook asking for blood when donors for critical patients were not available.
If asked, the former director of the disease control branch of the Department of Health. Benazir Ahmed told Daily Industry that dengue patients have increased naturally. Most of the patients and relatives of the patients feel that blood is needed only when they are infected with dengue. However, not all dengue patients require blood.
He said, the main cause of death in dengue is the loss of water vapor from the blood. A decrease in platelets is not a cause for fear in dengue. A complication of dengue is dengue hemorrhagic fever. Many inexperienced doctors are afraid and they think that in case of dengue hemorrhagic fever the patient will bleed to death. However, this happens one in a million. So, we say never need to give platelets. Even if the platelets come down to 10,000, there is no need to give them. Platelets should only be given if someone is bleeding. I request all doctors to follow the national guidelines in this regard.
Dr. Benazir Ahmed said, many times when the patient’s platelets drop from 50,000 to 40,000 or 30,000, the patient’s relatives request the doctors for platelets. At such times, doctors think that it may be his fault if the patient dies. That’s why doctors listen to the patient’s relatives and prescribe platelets despite their reluctance. This should not be done. We always prohibit doctors, nurses and patient’s relatives from handling platelets.
Doctors have advised dengue patients to be careful about several things even after recovery. They also said that dengue patients cannot give blood to anyone for six months after recovery. He also advised the dengue patient to stay inside the mosquito net for another ten days after recovery. Doctors say that dengue germs can spread through blood.

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