SPMC: Blood donations up, still insufficient

SPMC-Blood Production Services reveals that although blood collected from donors is increasing, the volume remains insufficient for patients needing blood transfusion
SPMC: Blood donations up, still insufficient
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DESPITE the increasing volume of blood collected by the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC)-Blood Production Services, it still cannot meet the needs of patients requiring blood transfusion.

Maria Lourdes B. Guerra, supervisor of the Blood Production Services at SPMC, said during the Healthy Davao Media Forum on Monday morning, June 24, 2024, at SM Ecoland, that they collected approximately 44,467 units of blood in 2023.

She said that SPMC alone requires 100 units of blood per day, thus they advocate for more blood donations to save lives.

“We cannot achieve blood adequacy unless the community contributes by organizing blood donation activities or responding to calls for voluntary blood donation,” she said.

Janson B. Cajegas, from the Donor Recruitment Office of the Blood Production Services at SPMC, emphasized the importance of blood donation for patients. He said they are strengthening their efforts, especially on the awareness of Republic Act 7719, also known as the National Blood Services Act of 1994, which promotes voluntary blood donation through the National Voluntary Blood Services Program.

“The significance of blood donation lies in its ability to save lives, as donated blood is used for surgeries, trauma care, and various medical conditions such as anemia and cancer,” he said.

Cajegas stressed the importance of maintaining blood stocks in anticipation of emergencies or calamities such as typhoons and accidents that require large quantities of blood. He underscored that one reason for encouraging blood donation is the short shelf life of blood products, with whole blood and red blood cells having a shelf life of only 35 days, platelet concentrates lasting only for five days, and fresh frozen plasma, which is only usable for up to one year.

In Davao City alone, there are three blood service facilities: SPMC Blood Production Services, Red Cross, and the Sub-National Blood Center of Mindanao under the Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-Davao). In Davao del Norte, there are the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum and the Davao del Norte Provincial Blood Center. These facilities collaborate to maintain a networked blood inventory to meet the patients’ demand in the region.

SPMC alone averages 4,000 units of blood collected annually. As of June 2024, approximately 20,000 units of blood have been collected. Types O and A blood types are among the most in demand.

For those interested to donate blood, requirements include being at least 16 years old with parental or legal guardian consent, being in good health, weighing at least 50 kilograms (kg), and avoiding high-risk behaviors such as having multiple sexual partners that may lead to sexually transmitted diseases. RGP


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