Sultanate Blood Banks Concern about Decline in Blood Donations amid Coronavirus
Sultanate Blood Banks Concern about Decline in Blood Donations amid Coronavirus6/4/2020
The country is experiencing a significant drop in blood donations amid the coronavirus pandemic because of the fear of infection, confirmed Dr. Zainab Salem Al-Fana Al-Oraimi, Director of Blood Banks Services at the Ministry of Health. She assured however that the banks are taking all the necessary measures to protect donors.
To avoid any decrease in blood unit stocks, the department coordinated with a number of authorities to organize urgent campaigns in addition to liaising with donors and volunteers to donate at the blood banks. This was carried out by determining number of donors in each time. Moreover, the appointment system were activated through WhatsApp (94555648) or through the telephone numbers of blood banks in the Governorates, notifying this through social media platforms.
Our humanitarian appeals received tangible response from both citizens and residents, hoping for bigger response at Governorates’ blood banks, Dr. Al Oraimi noted.
On the amount of blood needed in the country’s blood banks, Dr. Zainab explained that the blood units’ amounts vary according to the needs of each Governorates. At Muscat’s Central Blood Bank, around 530 blood unit are needed weekly to supply the Governorate health institutions. Despite the low demand for blood in hospitals at the recent times, there are cases that demand constant transfusion such as patients with hereditary blood diseases, cancer, and urgent surgeries.
The department are taking every precaution to minimize the risk of infection transmission to blood donors during this period. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate blood or blood platelets, and follow prevention methods and distancing between each donors. Donors are received without any company and the blood donation beds are sterilized after each donation and all surfaces and floors are sterilized in the blood bank, the movement of blood donors is also organized in blood donation campaigns to avoid overcrowding. The department is following up on the latest developments on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), hence, reviewing the procedures according to the latest developments.
Blood is an essential and the need for blood and its components is constant. One way to achieve constant availability of blood amid this crucial time is through the generosity of our country’s blood donors who are needed now more than ever to ensure blood supply remains stable and ongoing for blood transfusion cases, emphasized Dr. Al Oraimi