© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A nurse collects samples at a blood donation center during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 29, 2021. Image taken with an eye lens from fish. REUTERS / Denis Balibouse / Archive photo
By Sangmi Cha
SEOUL (Reuters) – From Seoul to Paris and from Moscow to Bangkok, concerned citizens line up to fire as COVID-19 case numbers rise. This may ease the pressure on stretched hospitals around the world, but with that comes a hangover: a severe shortage of blood donors.
Several countries do not allow people who have just been vaccinated to donate blood, in addition to banning people who recover from coronavirus. The others simply stay at home as new infections increase https://www.reuters.com/world/india/beyond-delta-scientists-are-watching-new-coronavirus-variants-2021-08-08, according to doctors, donor groups have shrunk to alarmingly low levels, threatening urgent operations.
In South Korea, now with historic problems https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL4N2PQ0VO, donors cannot donate blood for seven days after a COVID-19 shot, and supply is reduced to only 3.2 days, starting Wednesday, from 6.5 days worth of last year, according to the Korean Red Cross.
The Korean Medical Association (KMA) has launched a blood test, starting with the doctors themselves, warning that patients in need of urgent surgery or transfusions could face emergency situations, KMA spokeswoman Park Soo told Reuters. hyun.
“There have been growing times when hospitals are notifying us of the postponement of surgeries or treatments and the accumulation due to lack of blood,” Park said.
Recurring waves of infections, driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, and the extent of blockages have begun to take on greater weight in donations, according to a Reuters review of the situation in different countries.
In Thailand, confirmed cases surpassed one million on Friday, with authorities reporting record increases in deaths https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-reports-record-covid-19 -deaths-second-day-row -2021-08-18 the last few weeks.
“Due to the situation of COVID, there are not many people who donate blood, so it is not enough and some surgeries have to be postponed,” said Piya Kiatisewi, a bone cane surgeon. Bangkok Lerdsin Hospital.
Like South Korea, Russia bans blood donations from vaccinated people completely, but for an entire month, not just seven days. Nor does it accept blood from those in the midst of the COVID-19 vaccination cycle.
The business newspaper Kommersant reported last week that donor activity in Russia has declined, affected by the vaccination campaign, with blood service workers from six different regions reporting the problem to the newspaper.
Certainly, in Western Europe concerns about donations affected by vaccination have worsened with the traditional summer holiday period.
The French blood supply agency, the Establishment Francais du Sang (EFS), said stocks were too low for convenience. He said there are 85,000 bags of red blood cells in reserve, below a comfortable level of 100,000 or more.
“No patient is losing the transfusion, but we are worried about September,” an EFS spokesman told Reuters, when the volume of surgical operations would normally increase.
In Italy, the National Blood Center said there was worrying shortages in several regions, including Lazio, centered in the capital Rome, which had led some hospitals to postpone planned operations to conserve stocks for emergencies. He blamed the lack mainly of many people who were out on holiday and the lack of staff at some collection centers.
“WHY TO DONATE”
Across Europe, donation levels have also been affected by uncertainty over whether people can donate blood if they have not been vaccinated, officials in several countries said. The Spanish Ministry of Health, for example, made a call for donations this week to inform people that it is safe to donate during the pandemic.
In Greece, “people are afraid to go and donate blood to hospitals because of the coronavirus,” said Konstantinos Stamoulis, scientific director of the Hellenic National Blood Center in Athens. “There are days when there is a reduction of up to 50% in blood donations compared to 2019,” he said.
Back in Asia, many countries are now facing their most serious outbreak of coronavirus to date, amid the rise of the Delta variant.
In Vietnam, the country’s National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion said it could only meet 50-70% of demand.
“We have not been able to deploy mobile donor centers,” said Le Hoang Oanh, head of the blood transfusion center at Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of Vietnam’s coronavirus.
“Instead, we need to ask donors to go to our permanent centers, which is a challenge given the movement restrictions in the city.” (This story corrects the abbreviation of the Etablissement Francais du Sang de France in EFS of the EFA)
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