“National blood supplies currently show worrying levels in several blood groups. Even in a pandemic, hospitals still need blood to meet the needs of their patients,” the Federation warned, urging the Portuguese to continue to make donations.
Speaking to Lusa news agency, the president of the Federation explained that groups A positive, O negative and B negative are the most worrisome because they only have four days left (as of 19 January), while O positive, A negative and AB negative “are a little better, but not good”.
Alberto Mota explained that there are usually blood reserves for ten days and for that period only AB positive is in that situation.
“Traditionally at this time of year we always have a drop in blood donations. In January and February the winter, cold and flu always take many donors away. This year we have the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown means that some companies have employees working from home which has affected the number of donations,” he said.
The president of Fepodabes also said that due to the pandemic the mobile units moving around the big cities are not working as well as there are difficulties in finding places for the donations to be made, namely fire stations, as long as the Covid-19 situation continues.
In addition, there has been an increase in blood consumption.
According to data made available by the Portuguese Institute for Blood and Transplantation (IPST) at www.dador.pt, several blood groups have national reserves of less than seven days, a level considered worrying to meet the needs of Portuguese hospitals.
Fepodabes calls on all healthy donors, especially the youngest, to donate blood and thus help save lives, warning that about a thousand units of blood are needed every day and that every two seconds someone is in need of blood.
“Giving blood is safe, blood donation is foreseen in the exceptions to confinement so it is very important that the Portuguese continue to contribute,” said Alberto Mota.
At a time when many citizens are afraid to go to hospitals to donate blood, Fepodabes recalls that the collection in health establishments is done in complete safety.
Alberto Mota said that in all blood drives the rules that ensure the safety of donors are being strictly adopted, complying with the rules of the Directorate General of Health.
The blood collection process is a quick procedure, taking about 30 minutes, and can help save several people, as a single unit of blood can help up to three lives.