Donations delayed as Phuket blood stocks hit five-year low

PHUKET: Several blood donors were turned away from Bangkok Hospital Phuket yesterday, even though a Norwegian man in the intensive care unit there was in dire need of the blood.

“We would like to thank them, but please be informed that Bangkok Hospital does not collect blood donations – not even for emergencies,” Corporate Social Responsibility Project Manager Pareeya Jullaphong told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

“We rely on the Phuket Regional Blood Center and the Vachira Phuket Hospital blood bank to provide blood. We call them when we need it, so we advised the donors to go to one of those two places to make donations.”

Ms Pareeya explained that blood donations require tests before they can be safely used to help a patient.

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“The tests take time and require equipment that our hospital does not have,” she said.

The would-be donors arrived in response to a call for emergency blood donations to help the Norwegian, who urgently required three units of O-negative blood (story here).

Staff at the hospital confirmed to the Gazette this morning that the Nordic patient had received one unit of blood, but was still in need of at least two more.

“Doctors have transfused that unit and are continuing to monitor the patient’s progress,” one staffer said. “But he still needs more O-negative blood.”

The staffer declined to reveal any other details of the patient’s condition.

WORST IN FIVE YEARS

PRBC Director Pornthip Rattajak confirmed that blood stocks were at their lowest since the PRBC opened five years ago.

“The current situation is the worst I have seen. We need donations of all blood types. Our stocks of types A, O and B are critically low,” Chief Pornthip said.

“We have just two units of AB-negative and one unit of B-negative. We have none of O-negative and A-negative.”

Stocks of Rhesus-positive blood are marginally better.

“We have 10 units each of A-positive and O-positive blood, but our minimum stock is set at 150 and 200 units, respectively,” Ms Pornthip explained.

“We also have 80 units of B-positive blood, but our minimum stock is 150 units. Our stock of AB-positive is not as bad as others. We have 70 units, and our set minimum is 80 units.”

Stocks at the much smaller blood bank at Vachira Hospital are also low.

“We have one unit of O-negative blood, and we are ready to hand that over to Bangkok Hospital as soon as their doctors say their patient is in critical need of it,” said one Vachira blood bank staffer, who asked not to be named.

“Otherwise, we must keep one unit on hand just in case another patient comes in who needs that blood.”

NEED TO BLEED

Ms Pornthip urged all potential donors to step forward and make donations, especially people with Rhesus-negative blood.

However, she pointed out that the PRBC receives donations only during specified hours.

“Although our blood stocks are available to hospitals 24 hours a day, we receive donations only during certain hours at the PRBC,” Ms Pornthip said.

“But we can make donations available [to patients] within 24 hours. Any blood donated today can be used in a transfusion tomorrow.”

The blood center accepts donations at their headquarters on Rattanakosin 200 Year Road, next to Phuket Provincial Employment Office in Saphan Hin (map here), as follows:

– Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: from 8:30am to 4:30pm (no break for lunch)

– Tuesdays and Thursdays: from 8:30 am to 8pm (no break for lunch)

– Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: from 9am to 3pm (no break for lunch)

For more in formation call 076-251178 ext 2 or 081-9588854.

Donations can be made at the Vachira Hospital blood bank (map here) from 8:30am to 8pm, Monday-Friday, or from 8:30am to 3pm on weekends and public holidays.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News
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