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Lucknow: Blood and saline water 50-50, life risk 100 per cent

Beware! After adulterated food, it is adulterated blood now. The five racketeers arrested here by the special task force (STF) of UP Police on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday had put hundreds of lives at risk by selling blood mixed with equal amount of saline water.

lucknow Updated: Oct 27, 2018 15:16 IST
Gaurav Saigal
Gaurav Saigal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Blood and saline,Blood racketeer,Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940
The gang members never tested the donated blood for HIV, Hepatitis, malaria etc, he said and added that the raiding teams recovered blood bags, testing kits and other equipment worth ₹1.5 lakh.(Representative image)

Beware! After adulterated food, it is adulterated blood now. The five racketeers arrested in Lucknow by the special task force (STF) of UP Police on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday had put hundreds of lives at risk by selling blood mixed with equal amount of saline water.

A Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) team accompanied the STF during the raids to arrest the blood racketeers.

“The culprits not only doubled the quantity of blood (one unit converted into two units) but also sold ‘whole blood’ units as Packed Red Blood Cells (PRBC), befooling patients and thereby putting their lives at risk,” said Rama Shankar, drug inspector, who led the FSDA team during the raids.

Prof Tulika Chandra, HoD transfusion medicine at the King George’s Medical University here, said: “When blood with saline water is transfused into a patient it causes haemo-dilution. Saline water has a tendency to reduce volume of red blood cells. So, if the body has haemoglobin at 12% it will come down to 4 or 5 per cent. The more you transfuse such blood the level can go down further thus posing a life risk to the patient.”

Drug inspector Rama Shankar further said a correct unit has 49 ml of anti-coagulant and 300 ml of donated and screened blood. Saline water is never used with blood transfusion, he added

“Prime accused Mohd Naseem has confessed that he was doing this business since over a year. He got blood bags printed in the name of various blood banks in the city, including Shekhar and OP Chaudhary hospitals,” said Shankar.

Additionally, the gang members never tested the donated blood for HIV, Hepatitis, malaria etc, he said and added that the raiding teams recovered blood bags, testing kits and other equipment worth ₹1.5 lakh.

In all six blood samples were sent for lab test to the SGPGI here, he said.

“The donors they selected were poor people, and even drug addicts, who donated for anything between ₹200 and ₹800. The gang members prepared two units from one unit by adding saline water and the units were sold for ₹3000 per unit,” said Shankar.

BLOOD UNITS IN DOMESTIC FRIDGE

The drug inspectors and STF teams raided six places and found several units of ‘blood’ stored in domestic fridges at two places. Blood units, as per norms, should be kept in temperature controlled machines and not domestic fridges. “Keeping units in a domestic fridge destroys its properties and also paves the way for contamination,” said Prof Chandra.

Meanwhile, two other blood banks have been asked to suspend operation (issuing blood units for patients) following inspection by drug inspectors, where they found anomalies. “We have asked the two blood banks to stop operations by exercising the section 22(1) of the Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940,” said Shankar.

First Published: Oct 27, 2018 15:16 IST