Monday, July 13 2020

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Farmer's blood club saves thousands of people

Update: May, 13/2020 - 10:00
Trần Phước Hùng, 39, uses software to seek suitable blood donors for patients. — Photo tienphong.vn

ĐÀ NẴNG — Trần Phước Hùng, 39, from Đà Nẵng City is a farmer and founder of a blood donation club with more than 1,400 members who have helped save thousands of critical patients in the city and the nearby province of Quảng Nam.

On an average morning in May, Hùng's phone is constantly ringing with calls asking him to find blood donors for critical patients.

Hùng takes notes about the patients' blood types and then opens his laptop to search for suitable donors on his club’s member list.

Not long after, three members of the club have agreed to donate their blood to save the patients.

“Sometimes it takes just minutes to find suitable donors, but sometimes it can take hours,” he said.

But he never gives up trying to find suitable donors for those in need, Tiền Phong (Vanguard) online newspaper reported.

COVID-19 pandemic impacts

There is a severe blood shortage at hospitals in Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam due to social distancing triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, Hùng and other members of the club named Máu nóng – Hiểu và Thương (Blood Donation – Understand and Love) do not hesitate to donate their blood in an attempt to help people as much as they can.

Although every member of the club knows they have to make health declarations and take protective measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 before donating their blood, they still do it, he said.

Hoàng Kim Tùng, 24, a member of the club, said he remembers April 16 clearly.

It was during the social distancing period, and Tùng received a phone call asking him to donate blood. He agreed and went to the local hospital. He felt a bit uneasy when he was told to make a health declaration and take protective measures.

“But I thought if I hesitated, someone could die,” he added.

Phạm Thị Ngọc Ánh, head of the Haematology and Blood Transfusion Department at Đà Nẵng Hospital, said the club is a pioneer actively donating to the hospital.

The club’s donations have been precious during the pandemic, because many blood drives have been delayed and people have been avoiding crowded areas like hospitals, Ánh said.

Hùng always tries to respond as quickly as he can to help the hospital find suitable donors, she said.

“Thanks to their enthusiastic support, the doctors feel more secure treating patients,” she said.

Club operation

The club was established in 2015 after Hùng first donated blood at a local hospital.

“After seeing my blood is transferred to a patient and save him, I felt very emotional,” he said.

I really wanted to encourage more people to donate blood, Hùng said.

It is estimated that more than 2,700 units of blood have been donated by the club so far.

At first, when the number of members was small, all the notes about donors and recipients were handwritten.

However, as the membership grew, it became inconvenient, so Hùng decided he needed software to manage the operation of the club.

He told his idea to Trần Đại Sơn, an IT student and a core member of the club, and Sơn wrote a software package named Hiểu và Thương (Understand and Love) to help Hùng run the club smoothly.

The software allows Hùng to put all the necessary information of members such as year of birth, phone number, location, blood type and blood donation history.

The software lists all the people with a matching blood type immediately, so he can find them much more quickly than before.

Hùng said the software also helps him to track the amount of blood members donate and the percentage of blood types in the club. Based on that data, he is looking at ways of attracting people with rarer blood types to the club.

“The more blood donors I can connect with, the more chances I have of helping people,” he added. — VNS

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