Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Blood donation debacle

There was a blood donation camp recently near our office and we decided to go for it.

The last time I had donated was around 3 years back in the US. Apart from the 'feel-good' factor, goodies like t-shirts, key chains etc. used to be given to donors. The people handling the process are thorough professionals and make you feel comfortable throughout the process.

We went post noon just after having our lunch. The security guard stopped us near the entrance asking us to enter our names in their registry as our company did not belong to this building. We did so and went to the first floor following directions. It turned out to be an under construction floor with makeshift aluminium paritions and a number of people wandering in a haphahazard way. There were a couple of blood testing areas at the center with long lines leading to them. Towards the end of the area were some people donating blood lying down on iron beds.

We filled our questionnaires only to realize that we needed to fill a pink one if we wanted to stand in the shorter line. There were two different agencies collecting blood in the same hall. We filled the pink one and had our blood pressure checked. We were then asked to go towards a table near the iron beds manned by a compounder. There were many donors cluttered around depositing their questionnaires and collecting empty packets needed to collect blood. This place was clearly understaffed. There were around 7 iron beds and 1 doctor moving across them inserting the needle and pulling it out once done. She also kept multi tasking to the blood testing section. When we were finally noticed by the compounder he asked us to go to another table performing blood tests first. Another long line! When it was my turn my name was entered in the register and directed to another line performing the blood test. Line is a line mathematically but not in reality. Name a trick in the book and it is done. People keep cutting, sneaking and what not.

Then comes the final decisive blow. There is this guy who comes running with blood dripping from his forearm, shirt sleeves and onto the floor. Everybody rushes and tries to stem the blood
flow. We had seen enough. We rush out of the place and vow to never come back to this place again.