Blood donation drive to head off shortage
Mary Ann Benitez
The city's blood collection service is hoping to avoid a potential shortage with a two-week campaign to increase blood supplies.
The Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service is conducting a special 20-day campaign called 1+1 Blood Donation Relay to encourage more people to donate.
Donors will receive a donation 'relay card' and a stamp to indicate that they have given blood. They can then pass the card on to a relative or friend, who will get a second stamp once he or she has given blood.
Both donors will also receive a limited edition pen and key chain. The campaign ends on August 31.
Asked if the promotion meant a shortage of blood, a spokesman said the campaign was aimed at avoiding a possible shortage. 'Blood donation numbers in general drop during the summer holiday because of the unstable weather and the many people on vacation,' he said.
The programme was created to hedge against this seasonal trend. 'In general, we need some 800 donations per day,' he said. 'Our current inventory level is optimal.'
He declined to say how much blood had been donated since the campaign was launched. The service also has a system in place should hospitals need more blood.
'The [transfusion service] can meet the demand by mobilising the necessary quantities from its inventory, and by inviting more donors to give blood to replenish [supplies],' he said. 'Through this well-established and operated system, we are able to meet hospitals' demand for blood supply, even if there are fluctuations.'
He said tourists could also give blood, as so many of them visit the city at this time of the year. 'They may wish to donate blood or may need to have blood transfusions,' he said.
According to the service's statistics, 26 per cent of local Chinese have type A blood, 27 per cent have type B, 40 per cent have type O and 7 per cent have AB blood.