Oman's blood banks experiencing big drop in donations
April 6, 2020 | 5:17 PM
by ONA

Muscat: With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Sultanate blood banks are experiencing big drop in donations.

Due to fear of infection people are not coming for donations, said Dr Zainab bint Salim Al Fanna Al Araimi, Director of Blood Banks Services at the Ministry of Health.

However, she said the blood banks are taking steps to protect donors.

To avoid any fall in blood stocks, the department is coordinating with authorities to organise urgent donation campaigns in addition to liaising with donors and volunteers to donate blood. This was carried out by determining the number of donations each time.

Moreover, the appointment system was activated through WhatsApp (94555648) and by 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,” she said, hoping for bigger response at Governorates’ blood banks.

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 units are needed weekly to supply the governorate health institutions. Despite the low demand for blood in hospitals in recent times, there are demand for constant transfusion for patients with hereditary blood diseases, cancer, and urgent surgeries.

The departments are taking precaution to minimise the risk of infection 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 sterilised 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.

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