23 January 2018, Tuesday, 17:11

People in Belarus risk to die before receiving donated blood


Belarusians have slim chances to save their family members by donating blood if a relative is hospitalized in another city, because there is no republican database of blood donors.

On Friday July 18 in the evening, in the settlement of Dukora, Pukhavichy district, a blast of gas equipment in a car took place. A dweller of the settlement of Svislach, Alyaksandr Puzakou, was behind the wheel. He had hard injuries and burns of 35% of body, and the body parts injured most were head and hands.

Alyaksandr was taken to the intensive care at Emergency Hospital of Minsk. On Monday the head of burns unit told to the family that the patient needs albumin injections (protein found in blood). And it means donors are needed urgently. The niece of the injured, a pharmacy technician Halina Myaleshka, quickly disseminate information among her friends and through social networks, creating a group “Vkontakte” with a request for help. However, suddenly Halina faced difficulties. For instance, she learnt that it is impossible to donate blood for one’s relative without being registered in Minsk or Minsk district.

The editorial office of charter97.org talked to Halina Myaleshka and learnt details about how she won permission for donating blood.

- According to the Belarusian laws, blood could be donated at one’s place of residence. However in such a situation as yours, time presses, and it is naturally easier for you and for a hospital to donate blood right in the hospital.

- At the hospital we were offered to look for donors independently. The condition was: they should have registration in Minsk or Minsk region. On Monday I created a group in Vkontakte social network, and started search and asked for help actively. However, as we live in Pukhavichy district, it means that our residence place does not allow us to donate blood in Minsk emergency hospital! Many people were indignant at that, as there were many volunteers. In the morning I called the hot line of the Health Care Ministry. They explained to me that it is possible to donate blood without Minsk registration, but more documents are needed for that, and they offered some other advice.

- Tell us please in detail about additional documents and their pieces of advice?

- I was said to call to local hospitals and try to solve the problem myself. Besides I was told to make AIDs, syphilis and other tests according to my place of residence, then take a document I am not registered as a person suffering from these diseases, and go to blood transfusion unit.

After that I called to the blood transfusion unit of the Minsk Emergency Hospital and asked why it is not allowed to donate blood for persons who are not Minsk dwellers. After a long conversation I received a confession that the blood transfusion department of Minsk Emergency Hospital simply does not have a database of the information about the entire country, only on Minsk and Minsk region. Because of that it is not convenient for the hospital to take blood of persons who live outside Minsk. A representative of the hospital specified that any citizen of the country can donate blood, but lots of documents are needed for that: in addition to the standard ones, you should add a document whether you are a donor, about diseases, about not being registered as a person suffering from AIDs, syphilis and so on.

- However, you were sanctioned to come to Minsk and donate blood, though you are not registered there. Are these rules applicable to other people?

- I have just found out details at the Republican scientific and practical centre of transfusion medicine and medical biotechnologies. I was told that according the decision of the sanitation station, Minsk hospitals take blood from Minks and Minsk district only, and others donate blood according their place of residence, and most likely, it was an exception made for us! However, I was given an encourgacement: I was told that in case there would be many donors, they would send us a medical team to Mar’ina Horka.

A journalist of charter97.org website asked the chief of the blood transfusion department of Minsk Emergency Hospital of Minsk, Alena Sakretava, why the niece of the patient had to “demand” the truth and press for a possibility to donate blood at their hospital, and is it true that the reason is the absence of the country database of donors.

Sakretava immediately knew why we called.

- This family called us many times, and we explained everything to them. It’s true, we accept blood of dwellers of Minsk and Minsk district only. But in case a donor has no registration in Minsk or Minks district, additional documents are needed: from the local blood transfusion station and early treatment centres.

- Is it a usual practice that Minsk centres do not admit citizens without local registration?

- Yes, and the reason is they have a database of Minsk and Minsk district donors only. With its help we see who, where and why is registered, and have information about all blood donations. I cannot be sure that a person from Hrodna who comes to me today, had not donated blood yesterday. If something happens, I am responsible for that. First of all, we are caring about them and their health! Besides, in order to take blood, check it and pay some money to them, large sums of money from the state are spent.

- A girl has called to the centre of transfusiology, and she was told that it is possible that it was an exception for their family. Is it true?

- No, it is a rule for everyone.

- How come Halina Myaleshka in fact had to search for this information with great difficulties, and call different institutions, to find out they could donate blood in Minsk Emergency Hospital?

- People usually ask questions, and rarely use this opportunity. Only two persons from other parts of the country came to us for the whole period of my work here… It is really difficult to collect all those documents, it takes time. Only those who have a difficult situation, can do that and come to us.

Halina Myaleshka asked charter97.org “not to write negative things” about doctors and says that she has first-hand experience that doctors are not to blame, it’s the problem of the system. She agrees that to collect documents is difficult, though she urges all concerned people to help.

- Still we need donors, as we do not have enough donor blood. I understand that it is not easy to be given all documents, and it is to take more than one day, but we hope people will help us! All the information is here: «ВКонтакте», or please call 8029 169 62 29.