A Blood Donor’s Experience At Wuse General Hospital

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The day, Friday, May 26, 2017 began normally for me. At my desk in the office punching away on my laptop to churn out stories and upload them on our website, a call from a dear friend did enough to interrupt the day’s routine.
Bottom-line, there was an emergency at the Wuse General Hospital, Abuja that required my urgent attention in terms of blood donation. Having been a regular donor in the last five years, it was a request that I gladly obliged and within minutes, the Wuse Hospital welcomed me to its ‘warm embrace’.
So, my guide dutifully ferried me to the laboratory where we encountered some gum-chewing chubby ladies on duty. For more than two minutes after our entrance, the young ladies chatted glibly, oblivious of our presence until my friend politely interrupted them and drew their attention to the fact of our mission, which was to donate blood.
Without any qualms, one of the ladies, after sweeping her eyes all over me, off-handedly shot a question: ‘Sir, how old are you?’ When told of my above 50 age bracket, their quick exchange of glances caught me off-guard. Then another bombshell came as two of the ladies chorused with a seeming air of finality, ‘No, you cannot donate blood.’
Noticing my somewhat uncomfortable posture, one of them again shot at me, ‘Are you hypertensive?’ Refusing to be angry at their offish attitude, I calmly gave a ‘No’ answer to their enquiry and thereafter demanded the reason for their unfair conclusions on my health status and why I cannot donate blood for a patient.
Ignoring my question and apparently determined to get rid of my ‘unquiet’ presence, the ladies hastily sent me to the GOPD Clinic – the injection room- to have my Blood Pressure (BP) tested with a directive that I return to them with the result.
Quite confident and determined to thwart their expectations, I gleefully approached the Matron at the injection room. After the test, the elderly medical officer, with a disarming smile, declared my health status suitably okay for the blood donation process.
But having already made up their minds, my return to the Laboratory, armed with the clean bill of health from the Matron, proved a shocker to the officers. Sadly, the drama continued as I handed over to one the ladies, the piece of paper detailing my BP status from the GOPD.
A glance at the paper, without fully appreciating what was written on it, my ‘antagonists’ on this day; delivered another painful ‘No’ to my blood donation preference. Still, my patience deliberately refused to take a flight as I stood transfixed until another officer came to my rescue. After taking the paper from me and studying it, she politely urged her colleague to have a second look at what was written by the Matron.
At that point, my ‘harasser-in-chief’ reluctantly changed her mind. And without apologies for the embarrassment caused me, I was told to wait outside at the lobby until when I will be called in. For more than two and a half hours, I was completely forgotten at the lobby. The long wait was quite frustrating and in the process, my harassers eased themselves out of the hospital after their morning shift duty.
Did I complain about the shabby treatment meted to me by the Lab officials? Oh yes, and the result came by way of my being given ‘special’ attention by a different set of officers when I eventually went through the blood donation process. However, I also seized the opportunity to express my concern over the high cost burden placed on even indigent patients to screen free-will blood donated for their use by people.
Frankly speaking, the ‘Oga-in-Charge’ and the new shift officers were very apologetic over the incident. For them, I shouldn’t have been treated that way for any reason and assured that such ugly development would not occur again.
Apologies accepted and with cheering exchanges, I completed the process in no time. The incident inadvertently caused ‘My Headache’ on the day.

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