Recently I responded to a blood donation request which made me think how ill prepared we are towards medical emergencies. Here are some thoughts i would like to share:
On Monday, I saw a tweet asking for plasma donors with B +ve blood group in Gurgaon. Since I reside and work out of Gurgaon, i responded on the number shared in the tweet immediately and was told that it is an urgent requirement. Since, quite a number of folks have responded to the query, the patient’s kin whom i connected with asked me an hour to confirm.
I have recently started cycling to office. This conversation happened around 6 p.m. and I was packing for home. So i decided to wait for a confirmation at a dhaba i hangout in the evening. To reach the hospital was a detour of around 10 kms. Meanwhile, I also did some background check on the patient and realized that she was admitted for an emergency liver transplant.
At 7 p.m. I called up again and it went unanswered. Though logically i should have headed home, i was worried and decided to head to the hospital. There again I tried reaching the patient’s kin (apparently her husband) and was unanswered. I went straight to the blood bank and informed my intentions. A little searching through documents and the helpful nurse informed me that the need had been met by good folks. I also met few relatives of the patient at the blood bank and left my contact details in case of emergency. I never received any revert which indicates that all went well (so i hope).
You might wonder why I shared this story.
I can understand the emotional stress & exhaustion of the patient’s husband. Him not picking my call and my cycling an additional 10 kms in a hot evening (at 35-37 degree Celsius) are immaterial when considering the gravity of the situation. However, after meeting the relatives of this patient, I couldn’t stop but wonder why one of them was not given the responsibility to co-ordinate with donors.
In such situations, it is very natural of us to try everything to save our loved ones. However, wouldn’t it make sense if we delegate responsibilities so that we can spend more time with the patients than attend calls? You could always check with the responsible person for updates and be involved at the same time.
God forbid, if you are in a similar situation, I would recommend you to do the same. Coordination & sourcing of blood, informing & attending calls from worried relatives & friends, hospital bills/liaison with insurance companies, etc are few responsibilities which you could delegate. Maybe you could identify more such responsibilities which can be delegated (you can mention in comments & I will surely update it in this post). My experience in such situations is very limited.
Looking forward to your thoughts.