PESHAWAR: Private organisations on Monday made appeals to people to donate blood despite the fact that Lady Reading Hospital, which received 147 injured persons and 32 dead bodies after police lines mosque bombing, had enough stock to be transfused to the critically-wounded people.

“Soon after the bombing, we saw appeals by private blood banks and welfare organisations that the wounded people were in need of blood. When we reached the hospital, there was no such need and the administration told us that there was enough stock of blood,” Adnan Khan, a student of Edwardes College, told Dawn.

He said that he was accompanied by his three classmates and all were ready to donate blood but the administration said that the hospital blood bank had huge quantity of blood.

The news of blood shortage at the province’s biggest hospital spread like a wildfire and people thronged its blood bank but all were told about the real situation.

Even Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif took to social media and asked PML-N workers and students to donate blood and save lives.

LRH spokesperson says the hospital has enough stock of blood for emergency

LRH spokesperson Mohammad Asim told Dawn that the hospital had been receiving victims of bomb and suicide attacks for the past two decades and had a good quantity of blood to be provided to the seriously-wounded people.

He said that the hospital was transfusing 45,000 pints of blood on average per year to people. He added that the hospital had stock of blood for such massive emergencies.

He said that private blood banks and welfare organisations made hue and cry about scarcity of blood.

He said that they wanted to hold blood collection camps at the hospital but the administration didn’t allow them. He asked the people to ignore such calls as LRH would make official requests to them in case of need.

Mr Asim also praised the local media for professional reporting and avoiding to disturb healthcare providers.

He said that as opposed to their previous experiences when media people rushed to the hospitals and made footage of injured patients, that time the role of journalists was praiseworthy.

He said that journalists waited in the designated corner of the hospital where the administration provided the latest information to them.

Doctors at the hospital, however, said that the VIP visits continued to create disruption in smooth care of patients.

“Doctors and other health professionals remain busy in lifesaving procedures but visits by ministers and politicians create problems,” said a senior surgeon at the accident and emergency department of LRH.

He said that dignitaries should enquire after the health of the victims of bomb and suicide attacks a day after the occurrence.

He added that on the day of occurrence of attacks, the hospital staff remained extremely busy in providing healthcare to victim.

“The entire administration swings into action to provide protocol to the visiting dignitaries during such visits, leaving aside their basic duty of ensuring supervision of their staff and the services being given to the people,” said the surgeon.

He said that the government was providing free treatment to the victims of terrorism acts.

“The VIPs don’t come alone to the hospital but they are accompanied by their staff and political workers. The senior administration officials also accompany them much to the embarrassment of the patients in wards,” he added.

It was against medical ethics to visit the hospitals in droves because the health of the patients is at stake and such visits don’t benefit the patients rather complicate things. “At times, nurses, doctors and paramedics have no space in the ward to move around and attend the patients due to rush,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2023

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