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Official notes potential Khmer New Year blood shortage

A woman lies on a stretcher in Phnom Penh as she donates blood during an annual Valentine’s Day blood drive in February.
A woman lies on a stretcher in Phnom Penh as she donates blood during an annual Valentine’s Day blood drive in February. Hong Menea

Official notes potential Khmer New Year blood shortage

An official at the National Blood Transfusion Centre yesterday said that there was “concern” about a potential shortage of blood supplies during Khmer New Year and urged people, especially youth, to donate.

The centre has 300 blood bags in stock, each containing 350 milliliters, said Hok Kim Cheng, director of the centre.

That’s typically the same number of bags in storage at any other time of year.

However, during the 10-day Khmer New Year period, there are fewer daily blood donations and the demand for blood for traffic accident victims just in Phnom Penh increases from about 20 per cent of blood bags to about 28 per cent.

“The victims have to rely on friends and relatives or volunteers in case there’s not enough blood,” he said. “It’s a concern.”

The World Health Organization recommends for national blood centres to reach 1 per cent of the total population to donate blood, according to Vicky Houssiere, WHO communications officer in Cambodia.

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