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Red Cross ‘urgently calling’ for blood donations

Credit: Belga

The Red Cross is urgently calling on people to come forward and donate blood as soon as possible, as their supply is currently far too low to provide hospitals with sufficient blood.

Since the coronavirus crisis has subsided and regular care has resumed, the demand for blood is higher than in recent months.

“For the past six weeks, we have been collecting 30% less than we expected,” said Red Cross spokesperson Thomas Paulus. “If we continue at this rate, we will be in the red in three weeks’ time.”

Therefore, the organisation is urgently calling for donations at one of its centres or local collections. Although the supply for all blood types is low, groups A-positive, A-negative and O-positive are of particular concern.

Group O-negative, the universal donor group, is also at an alarming level.

Although the blood supply usually dwindles each year over the summer, the number of new donors has also fallen this year.

“The decrease in blood donations is part of the story, but with the slowdown of the health crisis, hospital care is also picking up,” the Flemish Red Cross points out.

“The health crisis has caused a backlog in the hospitals and this has to be caught up,” it added. “This means that the number of operations is higher than usual, which leads to a high demand for blood of all blood groups.”

Anyone wishing to donate should make an appointment at a donation centre via the Belgian Red Cross website: www.donneurdesang.be.

The Brussels Times

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