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Why not collect money for blood transfusion if the patient’s relatives donate?

Ho Chi Minh CityEach operation at the Heart Institute costs about two units of blood, if purchased from the Blood Bank, the patient has to pay, and if a relative donates to add to the Blood Bank, there is no cost.

“This is a historic rule at the Institute and due to the specificity of heart surgery, which is losing a lot of blood, it is necessary to mobilize and call on the patient’s relatives to donate additional blood to the Blood Bank,” said Director of the Heart Institute of Ho Chi Minh City. HCM Bui Minh Trang told VnExpress on June 7, and admitted that blood donation activities at the hospital had not been properly managed, leading to the case suspected of taking advantage of charity collect millions from patients.

A 70-year-old man, supposedly brought volunteers to the Heart Institute of Ho Chi Minh City to donate blood, then asked the patient’s family to fostering 1-3 million dong and pocket separately, blood donors and family members do not know. The case is being investigated by the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City in coordination with relevant authorities, and has not yet concluded whether there is a “volunteer blood sale” situation.

The Heart Institute has been established for more than 30 years, while the Ho Chi Minh City Blood Bank has been in operation since 2010. Previously, hospitals had to source their own blood. According to Dr. Trang, heart surgery is a type of surgery with a lot of bleeding that always requires blood transfusion during surgery and often requires short-term blood storage. Meanwhile, each year the Heart Institute operates about 1,300-1500 cases, which is a very large number, so the issue of implementing its own blood bank has been raised since the hospital’s construction, “has existed according to history to the present”. Usually, hospitals encourage patients to call on their loved ones to donate blood, depending on the type of surgery that requires a different amount of donated blood.

According to the current regulations of the hospital, heart surgery patients who need blood transfusion have two ways to return the blood source. The first, the doctor estimated that the operation would cost about two units of blood, each unit of blood 350 ml. Family members mobilized relatives to donate two units of blood to add to the hospital’s blood bank, the patient would not have to pay the cost of the used blood bag. “Two units of blood is also a relative calculation, if the operation costs three units of blood, the hospital does not require extra payment, the collection of blood into the bank is considered a common source of accumulation for all patients undergoing surgery. heart,” explained Doctor Trang.

In this form, blood donors have to pay for a pre-donation test, about a few hundred thousand dong, to determine their eligibility to donate blood, not to have an infectious disease, etc., remaining costs related to preservation, Blood bag disposal is the responsibility of the hospital.

MondayIf the patient has no relatives eligible to donate blood, the hospital will contact to receive blood from the Ho Chi Minh City Blood Bank and request the patient to pay according to the Blood Bank’s bill. This place collects blood from a free, voluntary donation campaign throughout the city. However, when using blood, patients have to pay part of the cost for testing, handling, preserving, transporting…, usually about one million VND per unit of blood.

According to Dr. Trang, if voluntary blood sales occur, it is “very regrettable”, which is “a lack of management”. The hospital is focused on saving patients, thinking that blood donors are relatives of the patient, so it did not verify if there was any claim for compensation.

“The hospital has never thought about this, since then it has not strictly managed, has not propagated to the patient’s family to know that it does not have to pay extra costs for blood donors,” said Dr. Trang.

Doctor, Doctor Bui Minh Trang, Director of the Heart Institute of Ho Chi Minh City.  Photo: Van Son

Doctor, Doctor Bui Minh Trang, Director of the Heart Institute of Ho Chi Minh City. Image: Van Son

In addition, the institute’s leaders also acknowledged shortcomings in the management of people who come to charity, specifically letting the man walk around in the hospital, leading to the misunderstanding of patients and relatives that this person has hospital staff. For more than 10 years, this person has come to the Heart Institute to do charity work as an individual, easily commuting to the administrative area, testing department and clinic.

The head of the testing department of the Heart Institute said that in the past time, he sometimes mobilizes people to donate blood for pediatric patients who do not have relatives eligible to donate blood, so “there is a list of many blood donors, especially rare blood groups”. He also guided patients and relatives to the hospital’s laboratory to donate blood.

According to Dr. Trang, the Heart Institute will verify and strictly handle individuals and departments if there are any mistakes in order to prevent acts of profiteering. However, initially, the Institute has not determined any connection of the staff with the man to perform unethical and lawful acts.

“The Institute will ask the Ho Chi Minh City Blood Bank for guidance on how to manage voluntary blood donations. If necessary, the hospital will transfer all donors to the Blood Bank, the Institute is just a blood donation campaign channel like other agencies.” , Mr. Trang said.

Before 1991, there was no hospital in Vietnam that performed open heart surgery. Cardiovascular diseases are considered incurable diseases that cannot be cured, especially children with congenital heart disease have to suffer for their whole life, cannot go to school, do normal activities like other children, and at the same time, at the same time It is also a great burden to the family and society. The Heart Institute Ho Chi Minh City was born on the basis of an international cooperation unit between the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City and the Alain Carpentier Association (France), operating for non-profit purposes.

In 2021, the Covid-19 epidemic has a great impact on medical facilities in the city, the Heart Institute has supported 169 patients, including 122 children, with difficult circumstances to undergo heart surgery and inpatient treatment. with a total aid amount of about 9.7 billion VND, accounting for nearly 22% of total hospital fees collected in the year.

Le Phuong

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