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Single transplant drains Swedish blood supplies

TT/The Local/dl · 2 May 2011, 12:27

Published: 02 May 2011 12:27 GMT+02:00

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Earlier this year, an operation at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg demanded so much blood that the hospital was forced to purchase blood from seven other Swedish hospitals across the country.

Hospitals in Lund, Malmö, Varberg, Borås, Uddevalla, Linköping and Stockholm all offered blood to help Sahlgrenska finish the surgery, which was plagued with complications that resulted in heavy bleeding, according to Sveriges Television (SVT).

But Sahlgrenska's shopping spree wasn't enough, forcing the hospital to buy even more blood from neighbouring Finland, an extraordinarily rare measure.

The incident has now been reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) by an assistant nurse who argued that operations in which patients bleed heavily but aren't at risk of dying should be stopped.

"I'm critical of the fact that a single patient could empty an entire blood bank," assistant nurse Yassin Abdullahi Abdi told SVT, who called the blood bank a "resource for everyone".

Officials at Sahlgrenska claim the hospital did nothing wrong.

"We have a national mandate to carryout transplants and thus there has to be resources available to do that," head physician Mats Tullberg told the television station.

Abdullahi Abdi nevertheless hopes that her complaint will prompt the health board to review current procedures.

Story continues below…

"I hope there are new guidelines," she said.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:53 May 2, 2011 by Luckystrike
" by an assistant nurse who argued that operations in which patients bleed heavily but aren't at risk of dying should be stopped "

Thank God (Whichever one you want) that this crazy woman is a nurse and nothing more...how can you even put "bleed heavily" and "Arent at risk of dying" in the same sentence....
12:57 May 2, 2011 by Nemesis
That assistant nurse should be fired.
13:41 May 2, 2011 by Borilla
The nurse is not in charge thankfully; however, has anyone given thought to what this means if there is an occurence (natural or manmade) which causes serious, multiple injuries? Where will the blood come from in an emergency if the medical community can't even provide for it where the need can be anticipated? The Moderates again seem to be cutting medical corners when they should be caring for the people.
14:44 May 2, 2011 by Twiceshy
come out of the "dark age's" sweden and use some modern medicine (you all pay enough for it in taxes don't you?):


no risk for AID's or other "bugs" and you get your own blood back clean no matter how long the operation takes!
15:01 May 2, 2011 by rohermoker
Blood from Finland???
16:08 May 2, 2011 by Tanskalainen
@rohermoker Maybe the Swedes will get some sisu now.
20:21 May 2, 2011 by calebian22
Assistant nurse? Aren't those the ones that fluff the pillows in Swedish hospitals?
20:25 May 2, 2011 by star10
who is the assistance nurse to talk about blood policy? first upgrade yourself to a full nurse before opening up your mouth about such policy matters.
22:20 May 2, 2011 by bolababu
well this is what happens when you tell people that they have to speak swedish before they can donate blood. an immigrant friend of mine who thought he could be of some use to the society was turned away from a clinic where he planned to donate blood because the nurses said he had to speak good swedish despite him holding swedish citizenship, poor guy enrolled with SFI.
02:46 May 3, 2011 by Da Goat
I am amused that the hospitals bought (paid money) for something that is given free (gratis), it must be as soon as the hospitals get their hands on the blood it is suddenly valuable (well more valuable) and can then be bought and sold, then again they probably charge an arm and a leg for it if you do actually need some!

maybe they should have roped in the local donors to get some more !

where I live it is too small to stockpile blood so they just call up the correct people when they need it, a few weeks back some donors got out of bed during the night to donate to save a car crash (I was gonna say victim but probably perp would be better) skin!
19:07 May 3, 2011 by TinaDJ
As an old blood banker---I would wonder how many units and was it a rarer type that is more difficult to maintain an adequate inventory?

Do you have any blood centers that collect blood and have mobile units that go out to business (set up ahead of time. We are a 600 bed public hospital and have our own blood center for the bulk of our blood but sometimes use other blood center to maintain the rarer units.

The reason we have to pay for blood is the the required testing to protect the patient from HIV, Hepatitis, and many other infectious diseases is quite costly to perform. In the US the testing is mandated and must be performed before blood may be issued to the patient. We may have plenty of the blood needed but cannot use it until all testing and processing is complete.
15:33 May 4, 2011 by Elvine
@ Luckystrike The assistant nurse was a man.
15:51 May 6, 2011 by ellie_m
I was donating my blood for years until I moved to Sweden. I went to the Red Cross in Stockholm within a month I moved here but I was turned away because I didn't speak Swedish fluently. I could understand the forms but they insisted that all conversations had to be carried out in Swedish because of the RULES: Well, no suprise Sweden has no blood. Should I go to England and donate there so you can order a shipment from them???
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