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Charity hospital is having a blood bank shortage that is causing the postponement of a number of major cancer operations and the cancellation of scores of elective operations until after the holidays. The continued scarcity could hinder activities of the hospital's emergency and accident rooms and threatens Charity's capabilities in the event of any major disaster, officials warn. Only a few bottles of blood type "O," the commonest type of blood, was on hatod in the hospital yesterday, according to Mrs. Enix Boudreaux, Charity's blod bank technologist, THE MINIMUM of 1500 pints of blood required at all times in the bank has been reduced to 500 pints,] she said. Cause of the shortage is attributed directly to the holiday season. Dr- Frank Rizza, assistant clinical director, said the number of clinical patients who are required to replenish blood even though they themselves may not need it, decreases during the holidays. At the same time, the hospital treats more accident victims during the holidays. Many often require great quantities of blood. And prospective blood donors are just too busy to stop at the hospital during the Christmas-New Year rush, DR RIZZA said the hospital already is using expensive blood expanders and substitutes and may have to turn to possibly dangerous cross - matching of blood in emergencies to save lives. Operative cancer patients for whom doctors order immediate surgery are waiting in hospital wards until enough blood is obtained for their operations. Other patients from whom major surgery has been recommended as soon as possible are waiting out the blood shortage. Empty beds in almost every ward in the hospital represent the number of patients scheduled for elective surgery—surgery which is not immediately necessary—who have been sent home for the holidays until the blood bank is replenished. MAJOR FEAR of hospital officials now is that the shortage could extend far into next , year. A surge of volunteer donors from, the city would merely alleviate the situation temporarily since blood can be saved only for 21 days. Dr. Rizza pointed out that none of the emergency operative patients is being kept from surgery because he cannot immediately replenish the blood needed for his operation. "As soon as the hospital gets the blood, those patients get their operations,'* he said, * * * ELECTIVE SURGERY patients, however, are being required to replenish the blood before the operation to help stop depleting supplies. Despite the replenishing, accident cases often make big dips into the bank. Many accident victims, Dr. Rizza said, required up to 30 or more pints of blood and never replace it. "They give us money," Dr. Rizza said, "But we can't use money. We need blood." * * * IN CASES of critical accident victims, the hospital may pour pint after pint into the patient, only to have him not survive. That blood usually is never replaced. One of the expanders being used is Dextron. It costs up to $28 per a 50 bottle and while it gives volume to real blood and prevents collapse of a patient's arteries, it can only be used in limited amounts because it cannot carry oxygen. For many operations, a supply of blood is necessary before the operation even though it may not all be used. In open heart surgery where a substitute heart pump is put into use while doctors cut into the patient's heart, 10 pints of blood alone is needed just for the operation of the auxiliary heart pump. * * * ONE YOUNG PATIENT With a congenital heart disease — two-year-old Larry Levron of Thibodaux — must go home for the holidays because there is not enough blood for his operation. His mother, Mrs. John Levron Sr., said the child already has had one operation requiring four pints of blood, and that she has only been able to replenish one pint. Post-operative patients who must replenish blood used for them are given donor slips which they give to volunteers who are willing to help them in replacing the blood. But during the Christmas holidays, Dr. Rizza said, few of these replacement donors have time for a trip to the hospital for a donation. PHOTO: MISS ENIX BOUDREAUX, blood bank technologist, checks near-empty blood storage unit of the Charity hospital blood bank.
|Title||Blood bank shortage forces Charity to delay surgeries|
|Contact Information||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans - 433 Bolivar St. New Orleans, LA 70112 ~ Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Rizza, Frank, Dr.
|Call Number||1960 p161-162|
New Orleans States-Item
|Identifier||See 'reference url' on the navigational bars.|
|Source||John P Isché Library - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans ~ www.lsuhsc.edu/no/library|
New Orleans (La.)
|Rights||Use is restricted to IP address of LSUHSC - New Orleans|