13 July 2007

Blood Red Tape

Got to know this clip from the CowBoyBar who in turn got it from

As I watched, I was seething in anger. The idiotic red tape morons have done it again. RFF lost a leukemia boy last year as a result of the bone marrow donor in Hong Kong getting entangled in the red tape pertaining to securing a passport to fly over for the transplant.

Now this.

While I can vaguely understand the need to secure approval for releasing of blood beyond allocated quota since there are more than one patient in the hospital requiring blood transfusion at the same time. The process of seeking approval from upstairs is merely a check process to ensure that issuing of blood to one patient will not endanger the life of another.

However, this check and approval process should be a short and decisive one and not one of those "Wait ah. I call upstairs to check.... Oh, approving officer is on his tea break. Wait ah. Wait." I hope that didn't happen in this particular case.

Even so, this could have been prevented if patient's family and friends were informed of the likelihood of such occurrences. Excessive bleeding after childbirth is not uncommon, mostly as a result of the womb failing to contract and close up after delivery. Then again, it was a Caesarian birth in this case and so I am not in any position comment further as to why the bleeding failed to stop.

Perhaps such tragedy would have been prevented if the hospital had advised the family to gather up other family members and friends with the required blood type, to be on standby. Surely something as simple like being on standby as this would not be considered as a hassle. Yes? No? After all, being on standby doesn't mean 100% sure kena activated. Besides, we are all on pagers and mobile phones. How difficult can it be?

Still, all is said and done on 20-20 hindsight. Also, I am not saying that it is the family's fault for failure to plan for such contingency for after all, how are we, as lay people, supposed to know all these? The hospital should have done more with regards to advising the patient's friends and family about the various risks and perhaps the need to be on standby for further blood input.

My heart goes out to the family.

The real PISS-ME-OFF trigger was the bladdy staff at the blood bank refusing to help simply because he/she was not supposed to "start work" for another 10 minutes. While it cannot be proven that the 10 minutes delay killed the mother, had the staff agreed to "start work" earlier, he/she would have been easily exonerated from being part of the party responsible for the death. Now he/she has blood on his/her hands. I hope he/she can sleep well every night from hereon now.

Investigations are on going right now and heads are definitely going to roll, now that the case has hit the media. A field day for the media to be going out for blood (no pun intended). No?

Perhaps this is a lapse in the policy that needs to be quickly reviewed and make right or perhaps this is case of your typical civil servants slacking off the iron rice bowl. I say time to remove the iron rice bowls if such people are not doing enough to earn it.

I hear people saying about Karma will serve its justice. Well, in that case, allow me to wish all those responsible to be safe. There may not be enough blood for you, if you get run over by a truck. Better put your friends and family on standby.

Stay safe ok?

Afternote: I have to admit that this was initially drafted with boiling blood. 24 hours later, I am a much calmer person and my emotions are back in check. I apologise if there has been any inaccuracies above.

Thinking further, I have to say that there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that the red tape delay, with regards to blood supply, is the cause of Mdm Swee's death whether directly or indirectly. The doctors and medical staff did all they could to save her. That was never in doubt.

Perhaps it is the policy in place that make the whole place devoid of empathy, compassion and sensitivity. Perhaps we are in a society where a moral martyr gets flogged instead of exaltation. Break protocol in the effort to save a life and one may get oneself fired (no pun intended again) for breaking the rules.

I can't help but be reminded of Wee Shu Min's saga in my earlier post. I wonder why? Strange.
And oh yes, how many times have we heard the lame excuse where "if we were the break the rules for you, then we would have to break the rules for everybody else. Then what good of use are the rules to begin with?"

To them I say "Screw you and screw the rules". If a rule has to be broken for the greater good, then obviously the rule is flawed and must be reviewed and amended. Blindly following every rule that is churned out without challenging it, is foolish in a lemmings sort of way.

Gee..... doesn't that sound like us and our elite Gahmen?

Nairmind. I wait. Four more years only.

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- Voxeros

1. fayeth left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 12:22 am
It's very sad, because no one could have predicted that this would happen.
I am sure that as per hospital protocol, the staff would have given a pre-op briefing that there're risks etc, and even if there was any warning about possible heavy blood loss, it is really unlikely for the family to register that it is a real risk. Because no one ever thinks it could be them. So realistically, the family would not have even thought of being on standby for blood, because we all have that mindset - can't even strike 4D, not so "lucky" to get complications =x
Just like you, i hope it wasn't a delay in the blood supplied to Mdm Swee that caused her death. It would really be very sad. My heart goes out to her family.

2. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 26 July 2007 7:24 am :: 
fayeth: I too do not think that the hospital is responsible for her death but it is just that the way things are done, it is felt like as if the patient is merely just a statistic rather than a real person.

The hospital and the blood bank should address this shortcoming.

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