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Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Blood shortage amid Covid epidemic concerns

Blood shortage amid Covid epidemic concerns

Nearly 90 percent of Hongkongers refrained from donating blood during the Covid epidemic, along with 60 percent claiming to have stopped donating completely.
The Hong Kong Society of Clinical Blood Management (HKSCBM) released on Tuesday the result of a study focusing on Hongkongers’ blood donation habits conducted in July this year in cooperation with the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute.

Among the 452 respondents aged 18 to 50, 63 percent claimed to have previously donated blood.

However, citizens’ willingness to donate blood saw a sharp decline during the first to the fourth wave of the epidemic from 2020 as the donation infrequency decreased by 60 percent, from once to 0.4 times per year.

Furthermore, 87 percent of blood donors claimed to not have given blood at all since earlier this year, amid the fifth wave of the epidemic outbreak.

Among the former donors, 63 percent mentioned they had dropped the habit during the epidemic, with 71 percent of them showing concerns about getting infected by giving blood and 68 percent stating they were losing the willingness to donate.

Cheung Hung-kai, Chairman of HKSCBM and an anesthesiology expert, said the city is facing a three to five percent annual increase in blood demand, noting that the elderly and patients with chronic diseases make up the highest need for blood.

“There is no substitute for blood,” said the former chairperson Chow Yu-fat, calling for health officials to launch measures to reduce unnecessary blood use.

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