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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Blood shortages as donations decline

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

08:49, January 06, 2012

Beijing continues to be threatened by a shortage of blood owing to declining donations and growing demand, the city government announced yesterday.

According to the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, Beijing only receives a daily average of 1,500 units (a unit is 200 milliliters) in blood donations, far fewer than the 1,700 units required to meet the demand for blood for basic clinical use at hospitals and medical institutes in Beijing.

The Beijing Red Cross Blood Center's website shows that blood types A and AB are most urgently needed and types B and O are needed as soon as possible.

"Blood shortages are a chronic problem in China. Most donations are from blood collection stations on the streets. The cold temperature in winter directly results in declining donor numbers," Ma Yanming, deputy director of the health bureau's publicity department, told the Global Times yesterday.

In order to ensure a stable blood supply, Beijing plans to encourage more groups and organizations to donate, such as government departments, universities and enterprises and also recruit more volunteers to respond to urgent situations.

"We have taken measures to ensure supply, such as looking for volunteers, increasing collection stations and extending the working time at the stations," Ma said.

Beijing currently has 2,130 reserve blood donors, according to the Xinhua News Agency. Beijing Blood Center's supply of blood has grown continuously over recent years, from 125 tons in 2008 to 135.6 tons in 2009 and 142 tons in 2010. However, donations in Beijing in the first half of 2011 dropped by 7.31 percent from the same period in 2010 and the number of donors declined by 5.59 percent.

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