The HCM City Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital as of Sunday had only 640 units of type O blood, while demand for each day is 150. Photo: suckhoedoisong.vn
HCM CITY — Due to social distancing that prevents regular donors from visiting blood banks, hospitals in HCM City are facing a severe shortage of type O blood.
Nguyễn Phương Liên, deputy director of HCM City Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital, which provides blood to hospitals across the city, said the hospital had only 640 units of type O blood in stock as of Sunday (August 1), while the demand for each day is 150 units.
Normally, the hospital's blood bank needs to have 2,000 bags of type O blood in reserve.
“Within the next three days, the hospital’s blood bank will no longer have enough type O blood to supply hospitals,” Liên said
Red blood cells from O-donors can be given to anyone, regardless of the person’s blood type. Increasing the reserve of this blood type is crucial, especially in times of scarcity as it doesn't expire, Liên said.
Phù Chí Dũng, the hospital’s director, said it had been receiving only 30-50 units of blood every day, making up only one-tenth of demand at 150 hospitals, including hospitals for COVID-19 treatment.
Many donation activities in the city have been cancelled because of COVID-19 preventive measures.
The city has 3,100 blood units of all types while normal demand is 8,000 to 10,000.
Since May, the city has faced blood shortages due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since July 9, when the city imposed a citywide social distancing order, all registrations for blood donations have been cancelled.
Donors can visit the Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital in District 5 between 7am and noon, and 1:30pm and 4:30pm seven days a week.
They are advised to register in advance via phone numbers 0919660010 or 028 39557858, or email email@example.com so they can receive a confirmation message that can be used to get through COVID checkpoints. — VNS