Bloody Business

Bloody Business

One thing you should know about O&G is that it’s a bloody business. Hardly does a day go by without you interacting with blood in some way or requesting blood transfusion for a patient.
And that was the case during my first call. A woman had ruptured her uterus during labour and while some doctors were battling to save her life in the theatre, those of us outside were sourcing for blood.
If you’ve ever had a relative in need of blood in the hospital, you know the way blood transfusion works in this environment. You don’t get to walk into the blood bank and leave with as many pints as you need just because you say a woman’s life depends on it.
No, lab scientists in the blood bank will tell you they don’t manufacture blood. To get blood, the patient must provide a donor. So technically they loan out blood. You see a woman in dire need of blood, they look at their bank and think about how to ensure that the blood they loan out is replaced and they have a reserve.
Is it the best system? I don’t think so but does it work? It does, because otherwise people won’t donate blood and truly the only way to get blood is when people donate. It’s a less than ideal situation but many lives have been saved including that of the woman in question.
It took several hours in the theatre and six units of blood, but she made it. This is the reason why I love O&G, it is one specialty where you really get to save lives of women who go on to lead normal lives because pregnancy itself is not a disease state. Even more exciting is the fact that most times, you end up saving two lives, that of the mother and baby.
We saw the same woman today on rounds and she was full of praises for her doctors, she knew what they had done for her and she was grateful.
In my next life, I will prayerfully consider being an obstetrician again, because I want to blush like the senior registrar who operated the woman did, when he was pointed out as the one who did the most work in saving the woman’s life.
But in this life, I’m okay with being outside and sourcing for blood. After all every Moses needs an Aaron.
So when was the last time you donated blood? Donate blood and save a life today, and who knows you may be saving more than one life.

Talk soon,


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