HCMC Hospitals Running Out Of Blood

It happens every year – in August and September, hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City run out of blood for patients. Even the Hospital for Hematology and Blood Transfusion, which receives and distributes blood to other institutions, is facing a shortage.

Doctors are ready to give their blood when hospitals lack blood (Photo:U.Phuong)

In Early August, the Hospital for Hematology and Blood Transfusion has managed to stock supplies in order to meet the demands of hospitals and other medical clinics across the city.

Nevertheless, eighty percent of blood in the hospital is provided by the Humanitarian Blood Donation Center, said a hospital manager. However, the center is also suffering a severe dearth of blood.

The cause lies in the fact that students, who usually donate their blood for humanitarian aid, are on their summer vacation or beginning the new school year in only a few days, and so are unready to give blood.

Deputy Director of the Hospital for Hematology and Blood Transfusion Truong Thi Kim Dung stated that her hospital is out low on all blood types, especially type O and type A, two highly demanded groups.

Dr. Dung added that to satisfy hospitals’ blood requirements, the Humanitarian Blood Donation Center would have to supply 7,000 blood units for her hospital per month in addition to the blood that the hospital already buys.

Big hospitals in the city are doing their best to conserve supplies. For example, Tu Du Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital needs 300-400 blood units every month, but has been forced to buy supplies from Cho Ray Hospital to meet patients’ needs.

Worsening the situation are such centers as the Tumor Hospital, Children Hospital 1 and 2, Nhan Dan Gia Dinh Hospital, and Hospital 115, which carry out operations such as liver transplants, heart surgeries and kidney dialysis. As a result, doctors and medical staff have given blood in emergencies – an unsustainable short-term solution.

The best way to collect enough blood would be to call for humanitarian donations among businesspeople and state agency employees, according to Doctor Bui Van Them, Director of the HCMC-based Humanitarian Blood Donation Center.

Director of the Hospital for Hematology and Blood Transfusion Nguyen Tan Binh is anxious, saying that some proactive measures should be implemented before the lack of blood becomes more serious.

By Tuong Lam - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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