The Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) has appealed for blood donations from the public as it is facing shortages amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. There has also been a high demand for blood to treat children with anaemia.
Dr Hor Putchhat, director of the AHC’s laboratory department, said it was difficult for hospital staff to collect blood donations in places such as hotels or schools amid the pandemic. The number of people who come to the hospital to donate blood has also decreased, he said.
“The hospital’s policy is that there must be blood to replace blood that was used. But now we are facing shortages.
“There have been people coming to donate blood but we cannot receive it because they had been inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine. We cannot receive their blood within 28 days of vaccination. So we told them to return later,” he said.
According to Dr Putchhat, AHC needs between 90 and 150 bags of blood per month.
He said for patients with anaemia, if there is not enough blood for transfusions, they would become even more anaemic and could die. The request for blood is also in preparation for the upcoming Khmer New Year when traffic accidents typically increase as people travel to their hometown.
“In the laboratory, there should be blood [reserves] for all blood types with 30 to 40 bags available during big national holidays. It is a precaution to easily treat patients injured in accidents or other incidents,” he said.
In a Facebook post on March 19, AHC said the hospital had used a lot of blood on children with anaemia and health problems that needed surgery. Most patients could not afford to donate blood to replace used supplies.
“On behalf of the laboratory room of the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap province, we call on people to donate blood to save the lives of children who are waiting for help from generous people,” the post said.
Blood donations for AHC can be given from Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm or on Saturday morning. Those who have taken the Covid-19 vaccination are encouraged to donate blood 28 days after their second jab.