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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - How safe is the blood supply?

How safe is the blood supply?



National Blood Transfusion Center deputy director Hok Kim Cheng says

that the center considers blood to be safe after testing it for

HIV/Aids, hepatitis, and transmitted social diseases such as syphilis.

About ten percent of the blood was found tainted in some way, he said,

and was destroyed.

Safe blood was then classified by type (A, B, O, and A&B) and could

then be refrigerated and stored for up to 35 days, he said.

Blood donated by high school and university students or by Buddhist

monks was considered the lowest-risk compared to blood from

professional donors or military personnel.

There was some small danger, he said, because the test for HIV/Aids

would sometimes not reveal HIV in the blood of patients exposed to it

within the past three months. The risk, however, has so far been small,

with no cases of HIV infection attributed to this cause.

“Usually the demand for blood is about 3,000 units per month, so we

encourage people to donate blood in case their relatives or family

members need it. We encourage people to understand that donating blood

won’t harm their health in any way,” said Hok Kim Cheng.

The current blood supply was nearly enough to meet demand, and there was no serious shortage, he added.



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