Good news for the month of blood donation: blood banks are starting to restock

IMAGE: Jerome Cristobal

MANILA, Philippines — At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many other medical-related activities, such as blood donation, had been put on hold.

The temporary shutdown had put the country’s blood bank inventory at a critical level in 2021, according to the health ministry.

The Philippine Red Cross Society (PRC) – which accounts for around half of the country’s annual supply of vital fluid – has also seen a drop in blood donations.

However, the eventual easing of pandemic restrictions has led to a steady increase in blood units stored in the PRC stock.

Speaking to INQUIRER.net, PRC National Blood Services Director Christie Monina Nalupta shared the current status of the organization’s blood donation campaign as the country marks the month of blood donors in July.

“In fact, the current blood supply in the [Philippine] The Red Cross is enough to meet the demand, day by day,” Nalupta recently said in an online interview.

At present, Nalupta said all 102 blood transfusion facilities in the PRC have a blood supply that will last for 35 days.

blood supply

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

Nalupta also said that the total number of blood units in banks in the PRC has seen a substantial increase in 2022 compared to last year, based on the projections.

So far, she said the PRC had collected 210,756 units of blood from January to June 2022. For the whole of 2021, the PRC was only able to collect around 365,000 units of blood.

Collection level

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

“Last year we only collected 365,000 units of blood, but now we are just halfway through the year and we have collected 210,756 units of blood,” Nalupta said. “So basically by the end of this year it will double.”

“We will most likely reach 450,000 units of blood,” she added.

The projected 450,000 units of blood is still a little behind the typical turnout of around 500,000 units of blood before the pandemic, according to Nalupta.

Nalupta thanked the blood donors who help the organization achieve its projections, calling them “heroes”.

“We hope they never tire of helping people in need,” she said.

READ: PH Blood Donor Month: FAQs, myths about donating blood

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