The Taiwan Blood Services Foundation yesterday called on the public to donate blood, as Taiwan’s blood banks on average had 4.1 days of blood supply, well below the official safe level of seven days.
“Taiwan’s blood reserves have never been this low,” said Lin Min-chang (林敏昌), director of the foundation’s Taipei Blood Center.
The shortage is mainly because of surging blood demand from hospitals across Taiwan, where regular surgeries have resumed after a nationwide COVID-19 outbreak was brought under control, Lin said.
Photo: Liu Hsiao-hsin, Taipei Times
However, as people remain reluctant to donate blood, supply has not kept up with demand, Lin said.
About 40,000 fewer bags of blood have been donated in Taiwan since the middle of May, when the COVID-19 outbreak started, Lin said.
The number of donations has over the past few days further decreased amid heavy rain throughout Taiwan, he said.
Nationwide, type AB blood is in shortest supply, with only 3.1 days of reserves on average, the foundation said.
Supplies of type A blood was at 3.6 days, type O at 3.7 days and type B at 5.5 days, it said.
Blood supply was shortest in Kaohsiung, which was among the regions with the highest rainfall yesterday, the foundation said.
The city’s blood banks on average only had 2.5 days of blood supply, it added.
Central Epidemic Command Center guidelines allow people who have received the AstraZeneca or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines — the only ones currently available in Taiwan — to donate blood.
Only those who have received COVID-19 jabs using attenuated vaccine technology, which is based on living pathogens, should not give blood, the center said.
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