Blood stocks declining amid COVID-19 pandemic, MOH invites donors to go to the national blood centres

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PUTRAJAYA AUG.1: The increase in COVID-19 cases from May 31- July 25 2021 has seen a significant reduction in blood collection for the whole country especially in the Klang Valley due to the decrease in the number of blood donors.

The Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said, the average amount of blood required per week for patients’ use nationwide is 14,000 bags including at the National Blood Centre (PDN) which needs 3,500-4,000 bags per week to supply the hospitals in Klang Valley.

Dr. Noor Hisham said, among the factors in the decline of blood supply is the concerns of the community and blood donors on safety during the blood donation process as well as the cancellation of blood donation campaign by the organizers. This declining trend is particularly worrisome and can affect the ability in patients’ care.

“The Ministry of Health (MOH) would like to inform the situation of declining blood stocks and emphasize the importance of continuous blood donation even though the country is facing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is to help patients in emergency cases who experience unexpected bleeding after an accident or complication during childbirth, premature infants with anaemia, thalassemia patients, cancer patients, and kidney failures as well as those who need to undergo critical and complex surgery.

“Recently there are many COVID-19 patients, especially those with chronic diseases background that need blood transfusions,” Dr. Noor Hisham added.

According to Dr. Noor Hisham, MOH through PDN and Blood Funds will always prioritize the safety of blood donors, blood donation campaign organizers and staff in ensuring a safe blood donation process.

He said, each blood bank must comply with SOPs based on the ‘ Guidelines for Prevention and Control During Blood Donation Activities to Prevent the Transmission of Infectious Diseases COVID-19-Annex 49 ‘ to improve public safety. These guidelines have been recently updated in line with international guidelines.

Among the SOPs carried out is to ensure that blood donors and health workers are healthy before entering the blood donation space.

This includes initial screening performed on prospective donors where only those who are asymptomatic have no COVID-19 infection or have no close contact with COVID-19 patients within 14 days can continue donating blood.

“Health workers will also ensure that donors wear face masks, undergo body temperature screening tests, scan the MySejahtera code, fill in the COVID-19 declaration form and wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer while at the donation site.

“Donor arrivals to donation locations are constantly monitored and limited to a certain number only at a time to ensure physical incarceration during the donation process is adhered to.” Dr. Noor Hisham added.

In addition, cleaning of registration desks, blood donation equipment, donor beds and stress balls that were used after each donation was done continuously by health workers to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection.

“MOH calls on the public to immediately come forward to donate blood at the National Blood Center, PDN Donation Suite , Midvalley Mall , Puspanita Blood Donation Suite, Precinct 10, Putrajaya and nearby Blood Banks, as well as a mobile blood donation campaign to ensure adequate blood supply all the time in all hospitals as well as making blood donation a healthy living culture,” Dr. Noor Hisham reiterated.

Meanwhile, the operating hours of the National Blood Centre in Jalan Tun Razak is Monday till Friday 7.30am to 8.00pm, Saturday and Sunday 8.00am till 4.00pm; National Blood Centre Donation Suite, MidValley Mall-Daily 10am to 6pm; Puspanita Blood Donation Suite, Precinct 10, Putrajaya, Everyday 10am to 6.00pm.

For more information, contact the Public Relations Unit, National Blood Centre at 03-26132657/ 2658/2776/2777 or email [email protected] .

The public can also browse the website http://www.pdn.gov.my as well as the PDN KKM facebook for more information on operating hours, location of blood donation campaigns and the development of blood donation services. –Malaysia World News

 


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