Blood is a natural resource in that there is no factory manufacturing it. So in case of any need, it means it has to be obtained from another normal person and given to the patient after it has been thoroughly screened for other chronic conditions which can be directly be transfused.
I work in Atutur hospital sickle cell clinic and I got touched one day, a Friday the 27th Aug 2016 when I received the patient of sickle cell who had poorly been managed in a certain clinic from Kolir in Bukedea District. The patient was a 2 year 10 months old child who arrived at the hospital in the late evening with severe pallor of the mucus membranes; rest- lessnes and was almost going into heart failure. In saw the patient and ordered for the emergency haemoglobin estimation and transfused. But since it was late evening, the laboratory staff had already left and the one on call was quite far away thus immediate attention was not possible. However the lab person who was on call tried to hurry on receiving the call and emergency haemoglobin estimation with the results being so low as 2.0 g/dl indicative of severe anaemia. Grouping and cross matching was also done with result group B+.
The patient was rushed to the ward where the nurse quickly tried to put the intravenous line which was successful. A blood transfusion was started under hydrocortisone. To my surprise despite the fact that I had hopes in the child surviving and also basing on the fact that it had already gone into heart failure due to the severe anaemia, the child ended up dying after the initiation of blood transfusion. This left the managing team shaken and tension because they did not expect this to happen. However it was an inevitable event following the delay which had been made back in the village. This necessitates health professionals to always sensitize parents with such children that in case any deviation from normal, they should not delay with children in the clinics but hurry them very fast to a health setting or nearby facility.
If this child had been started on blood transfusion early enough probably would have survived because on experience a number of sickle cell anaemia patients have always been saved when subjected to blood transfusions especially for our case in Atutur Hospital .
This expounds the event of blood transfusion as very important in the treatment and management of sickle cell disease. Due to the above scenarios, it is important that health workers should avail themselves in their places of work at any time as sickness has no time to wait. The care takers of the patient should make sure that they visit the facility early enough to get timely treatment. For availability of blood, donation should be strengthened as there is no factory for manufacturing it. So let’s save lives in order to get a reward is in heaven.