Sickle cell deaths in Bahrain reach 12 this year
Manama, May 29, 2013
A 30-year-old Bahraini yesterday became the 12th sickle cell patient to die since the start of this year, a report said.
Campaigners claimed it was because of a new Health Ministry rule for doctors to wait a minimum of eight hours between each dose of morphine, added the report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The GDN has previously reported that authorities were restricting access to prescription painkillers to combat addiction, after it emerged excessive amounts were being dispensed.
"This patient would have survived if he was treated on time rather than waiting for eight hours according to this health protocol," claimed Sickle Cell Anaemia Patient Care president Zakariya Al Kadhem.
"I cannot understand this new protocol of delaying treatment when you have a critical patient at the hospital."
Al Kadhem added that he feared the death toll among sickle cell patients could rise during summer.
"Last year, between June and August, we registered 22 deaths among sickle cell patients and this time - with the new protocol - my biggest fear is that the numbers will increase," he said. – TradeArabia News Service