B-15255, MARCH 13, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 517

B-15255: Mar 13, 1941

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PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR FURNISHING BLOOD "FOR TRANSFUSION TO THE VEINS OF PATIENTS" IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT TO EMPLOYEES WHO FURNISH BLOOD FOR USE IN TYPING PROSPECTIVE DONORS OF TRANSFUSION BLOOD. 1941: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WITH THE RETURN OF THE ATTACHED VOUCHERS AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT MAY PROPERLY BE MADE TO MR. THE VOUCHERS ARE DRAWN TO COVER PROPOSED PAYMENTS FOR 200 CC. BOTH OF THE CLAIMANTS IN THIS INSTANCE ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY WAS EXPERIENCED BY THE PANAMA CANAL IN NOVEMBER 1936 DUE TO DISALLOWANCE IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS OF A PAYMENT FOR BLOOD FURNISHED BY A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSFUSION PURPOSES.

B-15255, MARCH 13, 1941, 20 COMP. GEN. 517

BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS - CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES - TYPING PURPOSES THE APPROPRIATION FOR THE PANAMA CANAL (1941), PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT TO GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR FURNISHING BLOOD "FOR TRANSFUSION TO THE VEINS OF PATIENTS" IS AVAILABLE FOR PAYMENT TO EMPLOYEES WHO FURNISH BLOOD FOR USE IN TYPING PROSPECTIVE DONORS OF TRANSFUSION BLOOD, THE TYPING OF BLOOD BEING A NECESSARY INCIDENT TO BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE GOVERNOR OF THE PANAMA CANAL, MARCH 13, 1941:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 17, 1941, AS FOLLOWS:

1. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED WITH THE RETURN OF THE ATTACHED VOUCHERS AS TO WHETHER PAYMENT MAY PROPERLY BE MADE TO MR. JAMES C. TWOMEY AND MRS. BEATRICE E. LEE IN THE AMOUNT OF $25.00 EACH.

2. THE VOUCHERS ARE DRAWN TO COVER PROPOSED PAYMENTS FOR 200 CC. OF BLOOD FURNISHED GORGAS HOSPITAL, A GOVERNMENT INSTITUTION IN THE CANAL ZONE, TO BE USED FOR TYPING PROSPECTIVE DONORS OF TRANSFUSION BLOOD.

3. BOTH OF THE CLAIMANTS IN THIS INSTANCE ARE EMPLOYEES OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT, THE PANAMA CANAL, MR. TWOMEY BEING EMPLOYED AS A CLERK, CAF 5- B, AT A SALARY OF $218.75 PER MONTH, AND MRS. LEE AS A CLERK-GENERAL, CAF 1-A, AT $131.25 PER MONTH.

4. CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY WAS EXPERIENCED BY THE PANAMA CANAL IN NOVEMBER 1936 DUE TO DISALLOWANCE IN THE DISBURSING OFFICER'S ACCOUNTS OF A PAYMENT FOR BLOOD FURNISHED BY A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE FOR TRANSFUSION PURPOSES. AT THAT TIME EXPLANATION WAS MADE THAT THE CANAL ZONE IS A GOVERNMENT RESERVATION AND THE ONLY PERSONS AVAILABLE FOR FURNISHING BLOOD FOR TRANSFUSION ARE EMPLOYEES RESIDING THEREIN, AND ARMY PERSONNEL IN OUTLYING DISTRICTS WHO CANNOT ALWAYS BE CONTACTED IN TIMES OF EMERGENCY. HOWEVER, DUE TO PREVIOUS COMPTROLLER GENERAL DECISIONS TO THE EFFECT THAT A BLOOD TRANSFUSION OPERATION INVOLVES ON THE PART OF THE DONOR THE RENDERING OF A SERVICE RATHER THAN THE SALE OF A COMMODITY, IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THE PANAMA CANAL TO OBTAIN SPECIFIC LEGISLATION THROUGH CONGRESS TO VALIDATE AND PROVIDE FOR SUCH PAYMENTS.

5. CURRENT PANAMA CANAL APPROPRIATIONS PROVIDE FOR PAYMENTS OF NOT TO EXCEED $50 IN ANY ONE INSTANCE TO PERSONS WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE WHO SHALL FURNISH BLOOD FROM THEIR VEINS FOR TRANSFUSION TO THE VEINS OF PATIENTS IN PANAMA CANAL HOSPITALS. WHILE IN THE CASES HERE PRESENTED THE BLOOD FURNISHED WAS NOT FOR TRANSFUSION PURPOSES, THE PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING ,TYPING" BLOOD IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS FOR OBTAINING "TRANSFUSION" BLOOD AND A NECESSARY PROCEDURE IN CONNECTION WITH BLOOD TRANSFUSION OPERATIONS. THE CHIEF OF LABORATORY, GORGAS HOSPITAL, COMMENTS AS FOLLOWS:

""THE AMOUNT OF BLOOD SERUM NOW NEEDED FOR TYPING PROSPECTIVE DONORS BEFORE TRANSFUSION WARRANTS IT BEING PAID FOR. WE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BEG, BORROW, OR STEAL IT.'

6. DECISION IN THE MATTER AT AN EARLY DATE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR THE PANAMA CANAL, ACT OF JUNE 24, 1940, 54 STAT. 510, PROVIDES, AMONG OTHER THINGS, FOR---

* * * PAYMENTS OF NOT TO EXCEED $50 IN ANY ONE CASE TO PERSONS WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE WHO SHALL FURNISH BLOOD FROM THEIR VEINS FOR TRANSFUSION TO THE VEINS OF PATIENTS IN PANAMA CANAL HOSPITALS: PROVIDED, THAT EXPENDITURES HERETOFORE MADE TO ANY PERSON WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE FOR BLOOD FURNISHED TO PATIENTS IN PANAMA CANAL HOSPITALS ARE HEREBY VALIDATED; * * *

THE SUBMITTED VOUCHERS STATE THAT THE BLOOD FURNISHED BY THE TWO NAMED EMPLOYEES WAS "FOR TYPING SERA FOR TRANSFUSION PURPOSES.' IT THUS APPEARS FROM THE VOUCHERS AND YOUR LETTER THAT THE BLOOD FURNISHED IN THIS CASE IS NOT ACTUALLY FOR "TRANSFUSION" TO THE VEINS OF OTHER PERSONS. BUT YOU STATE THAT THE PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING TYPING BLOOD "IS EXACTLY THE SAME" AS FOR OBTAINING TRANSFUSION BLOOD AND THAT IT CONSTITUTES "A NECESSARY PROCEDURE IN CONNECTION WITH BLOOD TRANSFUSION OPERATIONS.' IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE BLOOD FURNISHED FOR THE PURPOSES STATED IS SUCH A NECESSARY INCIDENT TO BLOOD TRANSFUSION AS TO BE CONSIDERED AN ESSENTIAL PART THEREOF. ACCORDINGLY, THE FURNISHING OF THE BLOOD UNDER THE STATED FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES APPEARS REASONABLY TO COME WITHIN THE INTENT AND PURPOSES OF THE APPROPRIATION, SUPRA, IN VIEW OF WHICH PAYMENT ON THE SUBMITTED VOUCHERS IS AUTHORIZED, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT.