Blood supplies sufficient to help victims

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Oct 23, 2018 - Page 1

The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation yesterday urged people not to rush to donate blood to help those injured in Sunday’s train derailment in Yilan County, but donate regularly to maintain healthy blood stocks at all times.

The derailment of an eastbound Puyuma Express train near Sinma Train Station (新馬站) on Sunday afternoon killed 18 people and injured 190.

Blood donation stations nationwide were flooded yesterday with people wanting to donate blood to help the victims, and its Web site crashed due to the high volume of traffic from people seeking the locations of donation stations, the foundation said.

The national blood dispatch mechanism was activated in response to the accident, the foundation said.

The Taipei Blood Center’s Yilan Blood Donation Station immediately distributed blood to the hospitals where injured passengers were taken, and 441 units of blood were sent from Taipei to the Yilan station on Sunday evening, the foundation said.

The Taipei center sent a second batch of blood products yesterday, while the Hsinchu center sent 500 units of blood, the foundation said.

Foundation public relations director Li Lei (黎蕾) said the Yilan Blood Donation Station now has about five times its normal blood stock, so there is no need for people to rush to donate blood now.

However, people who meet donation requirements — those aged from 17 to 64, with a body weight of more than 45kg for women and 50kg for men — should consider making regular donations to help maintain a sufficient stock of blood to meet the transfusion needs at all times, Li said.

Various blood product donations have a short shelf life, so large quantities of blood donated at one time cannot be stockpiled for long-term use, she said.

For example, units of platelets expire in five days, while red blood cells last a maximum of 35 days, she said.