Connect with us


Opinion: Problems with Phuket’s blood supply

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Dr Suprang Suttantapidok, MD, is a hematologist at Vachira Phuket Hospital and the head of the hospital’s blood bank. A Phuket native, she graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital and specialized in hematology. She has been working for Vachira Phuket Hospital since 2013.

Here, she talks about the blood-related issues that Phuket faces and the needs of the blood bank to support the increasing number of visitors on the island.

PHUKET: To my knowledge and from what I see in the hospital, more and more people are coming to the island, with this year seeing the largest influx of visitors yet. Meanwhile, the airport is expanding to welcome more tourists as well. More tourists means that more blood is likely to be required.

We don’t begrudge the visitors coming to Phuket; the Tourism Authority of Thailand are doing their job and we are doing ours. Additionally, we don’t wish to deny blood to anyone who needs it. All we can do is try our best to help them.

Shortage of staff is a major problem that we are facing at the blood bank. We do not have enough officers to meet the ever-increasing requirement of patients. We have made some headway in this regard, but we still need more staff to fulfill our requirements.

I have discussed the issue with the hospital director, Dr Jessada Chungpaibulpatana, and he agreed to fill more open positions for medical technologists.

It takes about 20 minutes to collect blood from a donor, but the blood isn’t ready for use at that point. It takes up to two days to process it, ensure that it is safe for use and matches the patients’ blood type.

This is why we need qualified specialists in the laboratory to test blood for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis and other diseases, before it can be used.

The supply of blood in our blood bank is available for use in our own hospital, as well as other nearby government and private hospitals. We also coordinate with the Phuket Regional Blood Center (PRBC).

In case we do not have enough blood to meet our requirements, we call the regular donors on our list for blood types A, B, AB, O and Rh-negative.

Our hospital has a lot of specialists and experts, so many patients come here for treatment, both as inpatients and emergency cases. Some people are hospitalized for months on end, so we need a steady supply of blood for their treatment.

At this point, we do not use blood substitutes or other blood-based products. Therefore, we need more people to donate blood in order for us to regularly replenish our own supplies.

We do have blood units in stock, but there is always demand for more. We welcome all blood donors, whether Thais or foreigners. With the increasing number of people, the chances of accidents and emergency cases become higher too. Of course, we can always hope that this won’t be the case, but we need to be prepared regardless.

Blood units can be stored for more than 40 days, so donors are welcome to come and help us build up our supplies.

The media has a very important role to play in this situation. Most of the readers of the Phuket Gazette are foreigners. This makes it a valuable and important forum to spread the message to all foreigners that the more blood they donate, the more lives we can save.

Your blood can help save many lives, especially donations of Rh-negative, which is more common among foreigners than Thais.

Blood donations can be made at Vachira Phuket Hospital, Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 8pm, and Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 8:30am to 3pm.

— Chutharat Plerin


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Weather9 hours ago

Flooded hospital in Chaiyaphum had to evacuates 40 patients

Thailand10 hours ago

300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccines donated from Japan arrived

Northern Thailand10 hours ago

Extremely rare earthstar mushrooms found in Phetchabun

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Weather11 hours ago

Flood warnings below of Chao Phraya Dam, across Thailand

Thailand13 hours ago

US calls meeting with Thai officials to resolve donated vaccines

Thailand14 hours ago

10 Burmese migrant workers arrested in Songkhla

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand14 hours ago

Over 50 million vaccine doses administered in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Sunday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: Provincial Totals

World15 hours ago

China announces cryptocurrency trading is illegal

North East16 hours ago

Stolen 72 year old elephant returned to owner after 18 years

Thailand16 hours ago

Pattaya readjusts tourism goals for high season

Thailand17 hours ago

Phuket relaxes checkpoint requirements to help tourists and health officials

Phuket17 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 2 deaths, 4 Sandbox infections, 10k total cases

Thailand19 hours ago

Facebook page that claims to sell dog meat met with scorn on social media

Thailand20 hours ago

Thailand welcomes its first AI influencer, “AI Ailynn”

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11