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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Feasts bring famine to blood donations

By Shan Juan and Wang Qingyun  (China Daily)

09:46, February 01, 2012

BEIJING - Despite the capital city suffering a blood shortage, many willing donors were turned down because they ate too much fatty food during Spring Festival.

Alerts have been issued by the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center due to critical need for blood and almost all blood types are needed.

"We saw a lot of people coming to donate blood in the past seven days but many tested as ineligible donors because they consumed too much oily food during the holidays," said a nurse surnamed Wang at a blood collecting van outside Ditan Park in Beijing.

Gu Zhongyi, a dietitian at the Beijing Friendship Hospital, told China Daily that if a donor eats too much oily food before donating, he or she might not pass the tests.

Alcohol consumption, however, has little impact on blood donation, as "people metabolize alcohol relatively quickly", he said.

A nurse working at a blood donation van at Wangfujing Street in Beijing said feasts do affect blood test results and during this period half of the donors were ineligible.

Her van now receives about 20 donors a day, far less than the 40 to 50 per day in 2010. "At that time, donors had to wait at least half an hour before donating," she said.

Blood donation in Beijing has been decreasing since November, said Liu Jiang, who heads the Beijing Red Cross Blood Center.

"The coldness has deterred people from going out to donate," he said.

Statistics from the Beijing health bureau showed blood donation in the past six months dropped more than 7 percent over the previous year, after five years of continuous growth.

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