The story appears on

Page A5

December 12, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Health and Science

Blood shortages 'permanent'

SOME major Chinese cities, including Beijing, will continue to be threatened by low blood reserves due to increasing demands and declining donations, according to an official with the Ministry of Health.

The pressure on blood reserves emerged near the end of last year and is becoming "permanent" in a few regions, said Guo Yanhong, vice director of the ministry's medical administration division.

Although the quantity of blood donated at the national level has increased for years, Beijing and Zhejiang Province both reported declines this year, Guo said.

Official statistics show that donations in the past six months dropped 7.31 percent in the Chinese capital over the same period last year, after years of growth.

The shrinkage happened partly because of the public's mistrust of the country's Red Cross branches after a series of alleged embezzlement scandals, said Liu Jiang, director of the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center.

Liu also attributed the drop to the low temperatures in winter that could have deterred people from going to blood-collecting vans, the main source of blood donations.

Despite the drop in Beijing's blood reserves, the number of patients queueing for operations continues to grow.

The growth of operations in 2010 was 18.6 percent, but blood donations only grew by 7.7 percent, Guo said.

Guo noted that the imbalance was more obvious in major cities where the best hospitals are located and attract patients from the whole country.

The ministry says donations may total 4,000 tons this year, while demand could reach 6,000 tons by 2015.

At that ratio, the ministry would need about 120,000 people to donate every day, Guo said.

Currently, however, only 87 out of every 10,000 people donate blood in the Chinese mainland, far less than the 454 out of every 10,000 people in high-income countries and than the 101 in middle-income countries.

In addition to mistrusting the Red Cross, many people still doubt the safety of the donating process and fear getting infected by HIV, though the government has repeatedly assured the public that donating at licensed blood-collecting centers is safe.

Previous reports indicated that the main source of donated blood in China was still organized college students and migrant workers, which accounted for 60 percent of total donors.

Last year, a national blood shortage occurred and caused a wide range of surgery to be postponed.

The country's health minister donated blood in late October 2010 and called on the public to do the same.

A month-long national campaign is being run to promote donations.

Guo added that blood centers and medical institutions should upgrade protocols and training to achieve full and effective use of donated blood.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend