At SKIMS, five lives lost in a month to ‘Transfusion Reaction’

In a shocking revelation, five patients have died of blood transfusion reaction at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura while the sixth one is battling for life in the intensive care unit (ICU).
A senior doctor at SKIMS told The Kashmir Post that five patients have died due to blood transfusion in the past one month suspecting use of substandard equipment in the blood bank and during transfusion process.
“Two patients died in a surgical intensive care unit, one in gastroenterology, on in general surgery and the fifth one in endocrinology,” the senior doctor said.

As per doctors use of inferior quality material was the leading cause of the transfusion reaction putting patients at risks and life-threatening ailments.
“After the reaction, most the patients suffer kidney failure and are at risk. I saw three patients who suffered kidney failure and this is a serious issue which needs to be addressed,” he said.

Doctors said that this has happened for the first at the premiere Institute which has triggered outrage from the attendants of patients.
As per the sources following the deaths hospitals staff and nurses in wards and blood bank are avoiding blood infusion suspecting any eventuality.

The issue came to light on Sunday when a 23-year-old woman from Bemina suffered a blood transfusion reaction. She is battling for life in ICU at SKIMS.
“The female patient seems to have suffered anaphylactic reaction on transfusion of about 50 ml of blood,” a spokesperson of SKIMS said.

The lady became unstable on 31st March and was shifted to ICU where she is undergoing treatment with family alleging carelessness.
“Post-transfusion blood investigations do not show any evidence of mismatched transfusion,” the spokesperson said.

Another doctor at SKIMS said the department of blood transfusion and immunohematology was facing a dearth of skilled manpower.
“Once a patient suffers transfusion reaction, the patient develops multi-organ dysfunction and chances of survival are less if not treated on time,” he said.
“Sometimes what happens, there is no bed available in ICU and some patients die before reaching there. This needs to be investigated,” he said.

Over the years, the doctors said technical manpower in the blood bank was lacking stating that employees got superannuation but new posts had not been created.
“Some employees are retiring in coming years and government has to come with a policy/recruitment so that patient care is not affected,” he said.

Medicos accuse SKIMS officials of attempting to play down the problem despite the fact that transfusion cases were reported.
Medical Superintendent SKIMS, Dr Farooq Jan denied the reports of deaths due to blood transfusion saying some deaths had happened long back.
“These are rare cases. After Bemina woman suffered the reaction we ordered immediate replacement of blood bags and reagents with a new brand,” he said.

The MS said the previously used blood bags have been kept withheld saying they were trying whether reactions would stop with replacement or not.