PHUKET: The Phuket chapter of the Thai Red Cross Society is asking for more blood donations to meet an expected rise in demand during the upcoming Phuket Vegetarian Festival and high season for tourism that follows.
Pornthip Rattajak, acting director of the local Red Cross chapter, said increased stocks are needed during the high season, when the increased number of people on the island results in more accidents.
More blood is also needed in the short term as well to treat “mah song” spirit mediums who mutilate themselves in a variety of ways during the Vegetarian Festival, most typically by piercing themselves through the cheeks with sharp implements.
“Normally, our blood bank uses about 1,200 units a month. But last October the number rose up to between 1,500 and 1,700 units, so we had to ask the National Blood Center in Bangkok to help augment supplies,” said Ms Pornthip, who took over as acting director with the departure of Thaisika Phraisa-ngop at the end of last month.
The wife of the provincial governor is traditionally asked to serve as head of the provincial Red Cross chapter. In Thailand the society has chapters in all 77 provinces.
People with Rh negative blood types, which are extremely rare among Thais, are especially encouraged to donate.
Those wishing to give blood can do so daily at the Red Cross Regional Blood Center at Saphan Hin.
The center is in the cluster of government offices off Sakdidet Road Soi 1, near the intersection with Rattanokosin 200 Pee Road.
Open hours are as follows:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30am to 8pm
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: from 9am to 3pm
Mobile blood donation units will be available at the following locations and times:
October 11, 1pm to 4pm: The Front Village Resort and Spa, Karon
October 20, 10am to 3pm: Banyan Tree Hotel Phuket, Cherng Talay
October 21, 11am to 4pm: Phuket FantaSea, Kamala
October 22, 1am to 4pm: Mission Hospital, Thepkrasattri Road, Rassada
October 28, 12am to 5pm: Phuket International Airport, Mai Khao
October 29, 10am to 4pm: HomeWorks, on the bypass road southbound in Wichit
October 29, 1am to 4pm: Phuket International Hospital, bypass road northbound Wichit
For more information call the Red Cross Regional Blood Center (Tel: 076-251178 or 081-4134004).
— Pimwara Choksakulpan
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