HCMC in urgent need of O blood

By Le Phuong   July 31, 2021 | 10:04 pm PT
HCMC in urgent need of O blood
A blood bank of HCMC Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital is left deserted without donors, May 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Chau.
With social distancing preventing regular donors from visiting blood banks, HCMC is facing a severe shortage of O blood.

Nguyen Phuong Lien, deputy director of HCMC Blood Transfusion Hematology Hospital, which provides blood to various hospitals across the city, said it had only 640 bags of type O blood left in stock as of Sunday, while the average demand is 150 bags each day.

Lien said the shortage would affect blood supply to hospitals in the next three days and urged residents to join blood donation efforts as soon as possible.

Normally, the hospital's blood bank needs to have 2,000 bags of O blood in reserve.

Red blood cells from O- donors can be transfused to anyone, regardless of the person’s blood type. Increasing the reserve of this blood type is crucial, especially in times of scarcity amid the current complicated pandemic situation because it does not expire, Lien said.

The blood shortage in HCMC began late May as the city struggled with its worst Covid outbreak. Since July 9, when the city imposed a citywide social distancing order to curb the spread of the virus, all registrations for blood donations have been canceled.

The city now has 3,100 blood bags of all types while the normal figure would be 8,000 to 10,000.

Donors can visit the Blood Transfusion and Hematology Hospital at 118 Hong Bang, Ward 12, District 5, any day between 7 a.m. and noon, and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m, carrying ID papers. They are advised to register in advance via phone numbers 0919660010 or 028 39557858, or email tiepnhanhienmau@gmail.com, so they can receive a confirmation message that can be used to get through Covid checkpoints.

HCMC is now the epicenter of the Covid-19 wave that has been spreading since late April that has infected close to 150,000 people nationwide. City authorities have imposed night-time restrictions and banned non-essential travel.

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