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'Forced' blood donation worries Chinese patients

(Xinhua)

08:12, August 03, 2012

NANNING, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- It never occurred to Huang Haili that she would need to give blood before her aunt, who needs a blood transfusion for her surgery, can be rolled into an operating room.

Huang, a woman in her early 30s who lives in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said that the hospital asked her to persuade relatives and friends to donate blood.

She was required to find 3,000 cc.(milliliter) of blood for her aunt, who suffered serious gastrointestinal disease and the surgery was due the next day.

"I am not a local and all my family members do not live here, so I had to ask over 20 co-workers to help," said Huang who just had her blood drawn at the blood center in Nanning.

After screening, only several of her co-workers were eligible to give blood, she said.

Huang was lucky to find donors in time, as there are cases of people having their operations postponed because they could not find enough blood.

An acute blood shortage in Nanning was to blame for the "mandatory" donations, said Xiao Hongguang, an official with the city's blood center.

The center's blood stock drops sharply every year in summer when college students go on vacation, he said.

In China, college students and soldiers make up the bulk of voluntary blood donors.

The center usually stores an average of 800,000 cc. of blood but the stock has fallen by half over the past few months, according to Xiao.

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