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City allows blood donation for the sake of relatives

LOCAL blood administrator says the city has never banned people from donating blood in exchange for guaranteed blood supply for their relative's surgery. The remark comes after the city of Wuhan stopped such practice to control illegal blood business.

A Shanghai Blood Administration official says the mutual aid for blood use is allowed by the nation's Blood Donation Law as a way to boost blood donation and ease blood shortage.

He says blood from mutual aid now accounts for 5 percent of all the blood collected in Shanghai, far less than the 20 percent reported by Wuhan.

Wuhan blood authority says such a practice has created a loophole as some people bought blood donation certificates from others to ensure their family members have blood for surgery.

Some people are engaged in illegal blood sale, which poses risks to patients and affects normal collection of blood, Wuhan Health Bureau says. It rules that all patients must get blood through allocation by local blood authority.

Though its ban can stem illegal blood trade, it has drawn a lot of complaints from patients and their relatives.

A Wuhan resident surnamed Zheng told local media that his request to donate blood for his father's timely surgery was turned down.

In order to let his father get a surgery earlier, he has paid extra 130,000 yuan (US$20,635) for a small invasive surgery that needs only a limited amount of blood transfusion.

"But the extra charge is far from what I expected," he complained.

The Wuhan Blood Center said it is working on a stricter mutual-aid system to close the loophole and alleviate the city's blood shortage.


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