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Single transplant drains Swedish blood supplies

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Single transplant drains Swedish blood supplies
12:27 CEST+02:00
A single organ transplant operation in Gothenburg emptied blood supplies throughout southern Sweden, forcing the hospital to buy blood from Finland.

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.

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

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