September 30, 2020

Gender is thicker than blood here

Patna: A city hospital on Friday refused to let a person donate blood to save a child’s life just because the one who wanted to give blood was a woman.

Aparajita (30), a MSW student from IGNOU, received a message on a WhatsApp group on Friday morning that a baby who is around a month old required O+ blood at Tripolia Hospital. Enthusiastic about donating blood for the first time, Aparajita reached the private hospital from her home in Biscomaun Colony of Kumhrar at around 10.12am, but a nurse said that Aparajita could not donate blood because hospital rules did not allow a woman to donate blood.

“I was stunned to get such a reply from the nurse. After being refused for the first time, I again approached the nurse to tell me the reason of refusing my blood donation but she could only tell me that I couldn’t donate blood because I am a woman. I left the hospital fuming. I was really disappointed and also shared this incident with my friend,” Aparajita told The Telegraph.

Sonu Choudhary, father of the baby girl who needed the blood, said that his mother too had O+ blood group and she wanted to donate blood for her infant granddaughter but the hospital had also not allowed her to donate blood because she happened to be a woman.

“My mother is below 50 years old and she wanted to donate blood for her granddaughter. The baby has complications because she is a premature baby. My wife has delivered the girl after six-and-half-months of pregnancy. Our daughter was even admitted in the intensive care unit after her birth. However, now she has been shifted to a normal ward,” said Sonu, who does laundry work on contract in Maharashtra for the army.

Sonu said that he found it bizarre that the hospital refused lady blood donors.

“When a woman can take so much pain while giving birth to a child, how can she not be able to donate blood? I didn’t escalate the issue further as my wife is hospitalised over here. We got the blood from another donor, a man, later,” he added.

Tripolia Hospital’s administrator Celestina admitted that the hospital avoided blood donation from women.

“We usually avoid blood donation from ladies due to monthly loss of blood from their body due to menstruation,” she said. “Here in Bihar, ladies are found more prone to anaemia. This is another reason. We take precaution and don’t allow blood donation from women in general. As per a government circular, we need to take at least 12gm blood from a donor and taking this amount of blood might not be good for the ladies’ health if they are anaemic,” she said.

Aparajita, however, said that she was refused even though she had cited that she had got her complete blood test done a week before as per which she was fine and not anaemic at all. “I was ready to provide them my blood test report but even then they were not ready. Stopping me from donating blood is completely illogical,” she said.

City-based activist Mukesh Hissariya, who regularly organises blood donation camps, said there is no guideline which says that women can’t donate blood. “We do ask ladies not to take part in the donation drives too frequently and to take care of their health first but completely barring them from blood donation is quite illogical. Also, hospitals often ask for replacement donors and they are not easy to find on many occasions,” he said.

Nupur Aggarwal (25), who is a regular blood donor, said she did not find any ill effects on health due to blood donation. “I have donated blood thrice since last year and the experience has been amazing. Donating blood purifies the internal system in our body. I donated blood even in last month. I didn’t find any health problem,” said Nupur.

Dr Abha Rani Sinha, associate professor in the gynaecology department at PMCH who is also president of the Patna Obstetric and Gynaecological Society, said a woman can always donate blood if she is healthy and fulfils the criteria of a healthy donor.

“A woman whose haemoglobin count is low and is underweight or doesn’t fulfil certain other factors cannot donate blood, but if she doesn’t have any of these problems there cannot be any reason from stopping her from donating blood,” Sinha said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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