THE Hunan Red Cross has asked its Beijing headquarters and its counterpart in Hong Kong for assistance to treat victims of the explosion.
A spokesman said they were short of blood products such as plasma and protein.
'We have sent faxes to both Beijing and the Hong Kong Red Cross asking for help,' she said.
A lack of blood products would not endanger victims' lives, but would hinder their recovery.
'The Public Health Bureau can solve part of the shortage but we need more than that,' she said.
'We will try other means to get blood products by urging more local residents to donate blood.' She said the Hunan Public Health Bureau and Red Cross would soon mobilise people in Shaoyang to give blood. When asked how many litres of blood the local bureau needed, she could not give an estimate, only saying: 'We need as much as possible.' According to the spokesman, an employee sent by the Hunan Red Cross to the disaster in the City-South suburb of Shaoyang has yet to report back to the office.
The Hong Kong Red Cross said it would give assistance if its Hunan counterpart made a formal request. Wilson Wong Mok-fai, assistant secretary-general of the Hong Kong Red Cross, said it had only received a fax from the Hunan Red Cross, and was still waiting for a formal request.
'We are talking about specific blood products but the fax is not clear enough,' he said.
He said the Hong Kong Red Cross would not organise a massive blood donation drive because the mainland was self-sufficient. Since the blast, the Hunan Red Cross had sent to Shaoyang 30 boxes of antibiotics and 12 packages of first aid products donated by the Hong Kong Red Cross.
Officials of China Red Cross in Beijing were not available for comment.