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August 5, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

City embarks on new blood drive

THE city's blood administration office is increasing efforts to persuade Shanghainese to make donations amid short supplies of the precious commodity.

The initiative comes as the first blood-donor report released by the office yesterday showed 73.8 percent of city blood supplies were made by people from other provinces or overseas and only 26.2 percent came from Shanghainese.

Transfusion levels between Shanghai residents and patients visiting Shanghai for treatment were almost even.

The office plans to give people the choice of donating 300 milliliters of blood apart from the present options of either 200 or 400 milliliters, the maximum amount allowable.

The city lacked blood reserves to meet the increasing clinical and emergency demands, so more favorable policies and education were essential to attract donors, especially Shanghainese, officials said.

"Local people are more conservative about donating blood and worry about its harm to their health," said Zhu Yaoguo, the office director.

"Giving blood is considered by many migrants as a means of getting involved in the city where they reside."

Following a successful trial in Qingdao, Shandong Province, the office decided on the 300-milliliter option.

Shanghai collected 88,000 liters of blood through 310,000 donations last year. Only 23 percent of donations were of 400 milliliters, one of the lowest figures in the nation.

"The 300-milliliter option may help ease donors' worry about giving too much blood, while increasing the total donation amount," Zhu said.

Shanghai's clinical demand for blood is rising by 20 percent annually and this will continue to grow under officials' determination to build Shanghai into an Asian medical hub.

The office may also increase the blood bonuses for donors giving 400 milliliters.

Currently a donor is eligible to receive fivefold of the donation amount within five years and the same amount afterwards.

A family member of the 400-milliliter donor can receive the same amount as the donation within five years.

The office will this year carry out inspections on 14 city-level hospitals, which consume 60 percent of local blood, to check on clinical use, waste levels and improper use.

It will issue a ranking by the end of the year to help regulate hospitals' blood use.


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