Saturday, 20. December 2014
30. 07. 14. - 15:00
The director of a blood bank nicknamed Dracula by colleagues has been arrested after she was found to be selling blood to wealthy customers, and refusing it to poor people and those who she suspected of being gypsies.
But Dr Cristiana Maria Stoian, who treated the Public Transfusion Centre of Slobozia in southern Romania where she was the director as if it was her own personal kingdom, was finally removed when detectives who decided to tap her phone heard her refusing to give a 13-year-old girl blood because she was a gypsy.
Police confirmed that the doctor had been taken into custody on allegations of abuse of trust, blackmail and bribery. They also suspect that at least seven patients may have died as a result of the doctor either refusing to give them blood for transfusion, or alternatively not giving them enough blood.
Transcripts of the phone conversations were recently made public in Romania where they caused widespread outrage. It includes a conversation in October last year where she is told by a nurse that a 20-year-old female patient who had just given birth urgently needed blood if she was to survive.
The doctor replied: "Goodbye then, let her family know."
They also found evidence that certain doctors who she disliked were routinely refused blood meaning that the patients of certain medics suffered simply because she did not like the person that was treating them and wanted to make them appear in a bad light. This included a doctor in the intensive care ward who she consistently rejected when he applied for blood. In at least one case police believe the person died according to the prosecution file.
The case involving the teenage girl was from last year in October when a nurse identified as Corina Toma told the accused woman that her surgeon "needs a blood bag for a 13-year-old patient that he was operating on and found her belly full of blood".
Doctor Stoian had then replied: "So what?". She had then asked if the girl was a Roma and said: "Is she coloured?"
According to the prosecution case the doctor always took into account ethnic roots before making decisions on whether to allow blood.
And while the poor were routinely refused blood, the wealthy or those with influence were given priority treatment. The police found for example that when she was called by local councillor who asked about blood for his mother-in-law she had approved it even though the request was not from a medic, and had been made without any diagnostic information about the medical need for the blood.
With regards to the bribes, the evidence includes a phone conversation made at the start of 2014 in the New Year when nurse Vasilica Molea had called in to speak to a colleague and asked if Doctor Stoian was in yet. When told yes she then said: "Do you know if she started taking bribes yet? Has she already sorted out her schedule for 2014?"
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