Kozhikode: K.A. Saifudeen, a journalist, is a regular blood donor who rushes to hospitals to give his blood for a patient he often doesn't know. But the blood bank in Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (MCH) is the sole place which makes one wish never to visit again for acute space crunch and lack of hygiene.
"There are not even seats for donors to relax post donation. The floor is mud laced and unhygienic and looking filthy. It's cruel on the part of authorities to treat this way the donors, who voluntarily rush to the hospital to pump in their blood," he laments.
On an average, the blood bank will have 150 donors waiting between 8 am and 12 noon, the four hours allotted to donate blood.
Besides donors, relatives of the patient, back and forth movement of hospital stuff, all these make the short space congested.
They are advised to take 30 minutes' rest after donation. But there are only two cots for taking rest which can accommodate maximum six people.
"Similarly, though boards were displayed urging to drink as much water as possible post donation, there are only empty mineral water bottles kept to quench the thirst. We ourselves have to fill the water from the nearest filter," says Mr Saifudeen. Kerala Blood Donor's' Forum president Ashokan Alaprath too shares similar concerns.
"The government is campaigning for blood donation, and the ambience here is starkly in contrast. As the blood bank is on the casualty wing, the potential donor has to see all the injured people and blood spills before reaching the bank."
Mr Ashokan suggests a mind soothing musical ambience instead. Dr Deepa Narayanan, who heads the department of transfusion medicine and immunohematology, admitted that space crunch is the bane here.
"We hope to get more space when neurosurgery wing is shifted to the upcoming block. Besides, there is a shortage of nurses and lab technicians," she said.
However, she denied the blood bank premise being unhygienic. Donors are of the opinion that despite the acute lack of facilities, doctors and staff are doing a yeomen service here....