"Get life, not disease from blood," is an empty slogan on the wall at the Moga Civil Hospital. Can the blood exposed to bacteria save life. At the blood bank in this medical centre, the pouches of samples are soaked in toilet water. More than 40 boxes of plasma are packed in a small, dark room, the walls of which are cracked and where toilet water from the floors above seeps in.
Social worker Harpal Singh Brar of Kotla Rai Ka village raised the matter first. "The bacteria on the pouches at the blood bank can infect both donors and patients," he said. "The water leaking into the bank is from patients' lavatories in the emergency ward. We have gone unheard on the issue."
The bank received more than 775 units of donated blood against a target of 540 units. The blood goes to towns such as Zira, Jagraon, Talwandi Bhai, Nihal Singh Wala, Dharamkot, Kot-Ise-Khan, and Baghapurana, besides the blood storage units (BSU) at Nihal Singh Wala, Jagraon (Ludhiana), and Zira (Ferozepur).
"The blood transition officer (BTO) stores the pouches," said TS Sodhi, senior technician at the blood bank. "The post, however, is vacant for the past many months. I had asked former civil surgeon Amarjeet Singh Sandhu (now retired) for alternative storage space."
Dr Gulshan Rai, civil surgeon of Moga agreed to ask senior medical officer Dr Rajesh Puri to look into the matter. "If negligence is proved, we'll spare none. We'll repair the walls and toilets, and move the blood bank to a bigger space."