PETALING JAYA: The increase in Covid-19 cases between May 31 and July 25 has led to a sharp drop in blood collection nationwide, especially in the Klang Valley, says the Health director-general.
Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said among the factors for the shortage were concerns by the public and donors on safety issues during the blood donation process, as well as the cancellation of blood donation programmes.
“This declining trend is extremely worrying and can affect patient treatment capacity.
“The average amount of blood required per week for patient use nationwide is 14,000 bags of blood, including at the National Blood Centre (PDN), which needs 3,500 to 4,000 bags per week for hospitals within the Klang Valley.
“But the increase in Covid-19 cases from May 31 until July 25 has seen a significant reduction in blood collection for the whole country.
“The declining trend of blood donation is worrisome and would affect the ability to treat patients,” Dr Hisham said in a statement yesterday.
He gave his assurance that the blood donation process would prioritise the safety of the donors, organisers and health personnel involved.
“Each donation drive must comply with the standard operating procedure based on the Guidelines for Prevention and Control During Blood Donation Activities to Prevent the Transmission of Infectious Diseases Covid-19 – Annex 49 to improve public safety.
“These guidelines have been updated in line with international standards.
“This includes conducting preliminary screening on prospective donors with only those who show no symptoms, are not infected with Covid-19 or have no close contact with Covid-19 patients within 14 days allowed to donate blood.
“The arrival of donors at the donation venues is always monitored and limited to a certain number at a time to ensure that physical distancing during the donation process is complied with,” he added.
Dr Noor Hisham said registration desks, blood donation equipment, beds and stress balls were continuously cleaned by health staff.
According to the guidelines, everyone should wear masks, implement temperature screening and MySejahtera QR code scanning, and complete the health declaration forms.The public are encouraged to donate blood at designated venues such as the PDN in Jalan Tun Razak, MidValley Mall Donation Suite in Kuala Lumpur, Puspanita Donation Suite in Putrajaya or at the nearest blood bank centres nationwide.
The public can get details on the operating hours and other blood donation centres at www.pdn.gov.my or the PDN KKM Facebook page.