Hospitals face blood shortage amid coronavirus outbreak
  • | | February 05, 2020 10:15 AM
Hospitals in Vietnam are seeing a decreasing number of donors and blood donation events as coronavirus spreads.


Hospitals face blood shortage amid coronavirus outbreak

On January 31, National Institute Of Haematology and Blood Transfusion received only 97 blood units and 116 platelet units, mostly donated by medical staff. They were only able to provide 704 red blood cell units out of 1,252 RBC units demands from hospitals.

As of 11.30 pm on February 2, only two employees worked at the blood modulation area to deal with 99 blood units while on normal days, there are hundreds of people working to deal with 1,000 to 2,000 blood units.

The long holiday and cold weather are the main reason for blood shortage after Tet Holiday. This year, the shortage has become even more severe due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Pham Tuan Duong, deputy head of the National Institute Of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, said as of February 1, only 6,700 blood units remain in the inventory while hospitals request up to 1,500 units a day. They received 226 blood units in 10 days and platelets and red blood cell units are also in severe shortage.

"The shortage may last for weeks and 170 hospitals in 25 cities and provinces will be affected," Duong said.

Blood shortage also occurs in many hospitals in HCM City, Hue, Can Tho and Danang. According to the HCM CityBlood Transfusion Hematology Hospital, about 4,000 blood units remained in the inventory as of February 1 while demands from hospitals surged sharply to 800 to 1,000 units a day after Tet, much higher compared to previous years.

Many blood donation events that were planned months ago have been postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak. Hospitals in Hanoi and HCM City alone need 2,500-3,000 blood units a day. "If we don't hold more donation events, the blood banks at all medical facilities will drop to alarming levels as the number of patients increases day by day after Tet," Duong said.

They have called for the community to donate blood, especially people with O and A blood type, and called on organisations to hold blood donation events.

The National Institute Of Haematology and Blood Transfusion will implement measures to prevent the outbreaks such as issuing masks and hand wash.

Leave your comment on this story