Blood Supplies Low in Winter

Blood Supplies Low in Winter
Blood Supplies Low in Winter

Approximately 3,000 units of red blood cells are required every day in Tehran Province besides 1,300-1,400 units of platelets and 700 units of plasma, says Seyed Morteza Tabatabaee, director general of Tehran Province Blood Transfusion Organization.

“Platelets have a short life span and therefore we are in need of daily donation of 1,200 units of blood to meet the requirements of patients with blood cancer,” said Tabatabaee, quoted by IRNA.

Byproducts produced with donated blood include red blood cells for thalassemia patients with severe bleeding, plasma for patients with serious burns and platelets for cancer patients or those with clotting problems.

“Unfortunately blood donation decreases during winters,” he said urging people to donate more blood especially during the cold season when supplies are low.

Blood donation is effective in reducing risks of heart attack and even cancer. After blood is donated, the body replaces the entire blood volume within 48 hours and all red blood cells (RBCs) are replaced within six to eight weeks.

It has also incredible benefits for women. Once a woman reaches menopause her risk of heart attack increases, but donating blood can reduce that risk.

There are 17 blood transfusion centers in Tehran Province, more than half of which (10 centers) are substandard, says Tabatabaee.

Over the next couple of years, five new centers will be established in the province and the substandard centers will be renovated and upgraded.

“Financial constraints and staff shortage are some of the challenges. But we are making efforts to involve philanthropists in making contributions to set up the new centers, each of which costs $250,000 (10 billion rials).”

Pointing to the shortage of blood banks and blood transfusion service staff, he said 400 people are working in the centers as of now including blood transfusion specialists. “The new centers will need 100 more employees.”


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