11 July 2024

The Thai Red Cross Society is beseeching the public to donate blood urgently, saying that the country’s hospitals are experiencing a critical shortage of blood reserves for patients, forcing the postponement of many vital surgeries.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dutjai Chaivanichsiri, director of the National Blood Centre of the Thai Red Cross Society, said today (Thursday) that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a substantial drop in blood donations, adding that there has been a shortage of donated blood for some time, but the situation has recently become critical.

Normally, an average of 200,000 units of blood are needed every day by hospitals but, in July, only 149,384 units of blood were donated.

Dr. Dutjai said that there are over 340 hospitals throughout Thailand and each of them requires an average of 8,000 units of blood every day, but the National Blood Centre can supply just 2,300 units, or only 28% of what they need, which threatens the lives patients who are desperately in need of blood transfusions.

Patients suffering from blood diseases needing 1-2 units of blood every 3 to 4 weeks, those injured in accidents who require emergency surgery, cancer patients and patients with other conditions who need surgery are reliant upon donated blood.

She admitted that the pandemic has discouraged many people from travelling to donate blood, leading to the blood shortage, but blood is an everyday, lifesaving necessity in hospitals.

She said that it is time for all healthy people to donate blood, adding that they can donate at any hospital, including their nearest hospital for their own safety or convenience.