DOH-5 appeals for more voluntary blood donors
posted 5-Jun-2019  ·  
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LEGAZPI CITY (PIA) — A shortage of blood supply in Bicol has alarmed the Department of Health (DOH) in the region. The shortage undermines the hospitals’ capability to save lives of those who might need blood transfusion during critical times.

DOH-5 Regional Blood Program Manager Windalyn G. Baluis lays emphasis on the importance of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors to ensure adequate and safe blood supply in the region during the Media Kapihan at Legazpi City on May 15, 2019.

Windalyn G. Baluis, DOH blood program manager for Bicol, said the region did not hit its target of blood supply in 2018. She added that blood expires in only 35 days.

“Even if one province met its target, instead of waiting for the blood’s expiration date, we give them to the provinces that are in need of blood to help them. Nevertheless, still it was insufficient,” Baluis said.

To address the problem, the DOH-5 is encouraging healthy individuals to donate blood regularly. Qualified donors are 16 to 65 years old and at least 50 kilograms. Those 16 to 17 years old must secure their parents’ consent.

Male donors can donate every after three months since the red blood cells mature in 120 days. On the other hand, female donors can donate again after three months even with menstruation as long as they pass the mini-screening.

“Blood donation has a process to ensure that it will not compromise the health of the donor and the patient,” Baluis said.

Baluis said blood safety might be compromised by the use of incentives and benefits that influence the individual’s decision to donate blood.

She added that the safest source of blood for transfusion is the voluntary non-remunerated donors who are more likely to donate on a regular basis.

“Voluntary non-remunerated donors donate blood of their own free will for altruistic reasons and have no intention to withhold information. Another is that, if you’re a regular blood donor, that means you’re healthy,” she said. (Casandra Balala/PIA-V)

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